Monday, November 29, 2010
Unknown Heroes Pt. 8: Rod Beck
Rod Beck was cool. With a fu manchu mustache and a mullet, Beck looked more like a Hell's Angel member than a baseball player. He was also a great closer for several years for the Giants and Cubs. However, in 1999, just a year removed from a 51 save season for the Chicago Cubs, Beck's career looked to be in jeopardy. He was dealing with injuries and was traded late in the season to the Red Sox for Cole Liniak and Mark Guthrie. Beck was able to resurrect his career with the Red Sox, though he would not be a closer again.
Beck spent the rest of 1999 and the next two full seasons with the Red Sox. In 1999, he was 0-1 with a 1.93 ERA, three saves, and 12 strikeouts in 14 innings. The next two seasons, he became the team's main setup man and pitched well. For his Red Sox career, Beck went 9-5 with a 3.46 ERA, nine saves, and 110 strikeouts in 135.1 innings.
The best moment involving Beck though was at a time he was not pitching. The Red Sox were in Toronto and Beck was sitting in the bullpen seats, on top of the outfield wall when Manny Ramirez connected for a home run. Beck nonchalantly reached up and caught the ball with his bare hand. Cool indeed.