Monday, June 23, 2008

This Day In History - Rod Beck

Sorry to dwell on death, but today marks the first anniversary of the death of baseball pitcher Rod Beck. Beck was a good relief pitcher for four different major league teams - the Giants, the Cubs, the Red Sox, and the Padres. He died at the age of 38, and the cause of death was not disclosed (although cocaine was found in his home after his death). He was always a bit of an oddball, and looked very intimidating on the mound, mainly due to his considerable girth, his intense scowl, his badass fun manchu mustache, and his professionally sculpted mullett. Ironically, he cemented his legendary status not as a major leaguer, but during a stint in the minor leagues. While pitching for the Cubs minor league affiliate in Des Moines, Beck lived in an RV behind the team's stadium and always welcomed fans in for a cold beer, to use his restroom, and just to talk baseball. He had a neon blue martini-glass-shaped light in the window of his camper. The rule was: if it's on, the bar's open. And it was always on.

Another American original, taken before his time. There's no one left in the league like him anymore. Rod, the light is on for you and George Carlin tonight. When you see George stroll by your camper, invite him in for a cold one.

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