Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Rod Beck: So Long, Shooter

Rod Beck was found dead at his home in Phoenix on Saturday.

Beck was an excellent (at one time, preeminent) closer, and had almost 300 saves in his major league career.

That's not why I'm mentioning him, though.

The reason I'm mentioning him is because he was responsible for one of my favorite baseball stories ever.

After Beck had reconstructive elbow surgery in 2002, he signed a minor league contract with the Iowa Cubs in 2003 in hopes of working his way back to the majors. He lived behind the right field wall of the stadium.

In an RV.

It was a great story. He went to the RV after games, drank beer, and hung out--with teammates, with groundskeepers, with fans, with anyone. He was the absolute antithesis of the me-first, monster-ego cancer that has invaded professional sports these days.

Here's a link to the RV story:

And here's a nice farewell:
SF Gate eulogy.

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