Rod Beck – Dead at 38

Rod Beck

Just today at lunch, Tom and I were discussing Sammy Sosa‘s comeback this year and that fabled 1998 baseball season when Sammy and Mark McGwire saved the sport of baseball. Now comes that word that one of the reason that the 1998 season was a great one for the Cubs is dead. Rod Beck, the All-Star right handed reliever, was found dead Saturday in his home. He was only 38. I had lost track of Beck when he went to the Padres so I was surprised to learn that he had left San Diego abruptly in 2004 for a two-month drug rehab stint.

Rob Beck was an “everyman” pitcher. His Fu Manchu mustache and mullet just told you that about him. I loved the way he bent over, swung his arm and glared at home plate as he was getting ready for his next pitch.

On the heels of the death of Josh Hancock and not so long after Ken Caminiti‘s passing, news like this takes you aback and makes you contemplate the true meaning of “playing hard” in baseball.