Former league player Glenn Beckert, who has played in 11 seasons (nine with the Chicago Cubs), died on Sunday. He was 79 years old.
During Beckert’s time with the Cubs, he formed a friendship with Hall of Fame Fergie pitcher Jenkins. Beckert was even the best man at Jenkins’ wedding. Jenkins tweeted about Beckert on Sunday, saying the world “had lost a big one today.”
Originally signed by the Boston Red Sox, Beckert ended up with the Cubs in a minor league draft in the winter of 1962. He later became their second base player in 1965, a little more than a year after Ken Hubbs (the 1962 Rookie of the Year) died in a plane crash. Beckert will remain an essential part of the Cubs’ training until he is traded to the Padres in San Diego in 1973.
Beckert ended his career with a high average (0.283), but with low base and strike percentages (0.318 / 0.345). Nevertheless, he was very successful thanks to a keen sense of contact (he finished with more walks than strikeouts and stoked only four percent of his appearances in the plate) and a well regarded glove at second .
Beckert won the 1968 Gold Glove Award and made four all-star games during the 1960s, including the 1969 case that included an inside field for all Cubs: wide receiver Randy Hundley, first baseman Ernie Banks, Beckert, third baseman Ron Santo and shortstop Don Kessigner. Beckert would even earn consideration for the most useful player award three times.
“Glenn Beckert was a wonderful person who was also an excellent ball player,” the Cubs said in a statement. “He was a mainstay of the Cubs’ second base for nine seasons from 1965 to 1973, earning a spot on four star teams and a reputation for one of the toughest bats in the league, as evidenced by its low strikeout rate. Glenn more than held his own game alongside the future Hall of Fame and won a gold glove for defensive excellence in second base in 1968. “
Bill James named Beckert the 64th best second baseman of all time The new historical summary. Currently, he ranks 123rd in career wins over replacement by players who were primarily second-goal players, according to Baseball Reference.