Rod Beck (1968-2007)

The boss called earlier today and told me that our guestbook for Rod Beck already has become one of the most-hit features our site has ever had. No surprise there. As mentioned in my earlier blog, today, Beck was a player of the people, the kind of person we’d envision ourselves being if we had the talent to close out games in the major leagues.

Friend of mine went to Sunday’s game that featured the 1962 reunion between the Yankees and Giants, and he said not a word was mentioned about Beck’s death. That’s a bit surprising, but the Giants will honor him tonight. Perhaps instead of a moment of silence, everybody should take a swig of a Coors Light. Beck would’ve probably wanted it that way.

As for myself, I always keep that vision of Beck puffing away at a cigarette as he pumped an exercise bike in the bowels of Dodger Stadium. I was just getting my feet wet covering baseball at the time, and that particular series was my first road trip, and the first time I approached him, I was scared. I could certainly relate to what Rich Aurilia said about him. But like Aurilia, I found him friendly, funny, not at all what I had heard I should expect from a player.

Sad to read that he’d been battling demons later in life. Former manager Dusty Baker mentioned on ESPN’s Baseball Tonight that Beck almost died last year from a staph infection last year. Sounds like the man was having a rough go. At least he’s not suffering anymore.