The 6 foot 3, 225 pound right hander from Jefferson packed up his belongings earlier this week and headed west to Arizona to begin preparations for the upcoming baseball season with hopes that 2016 will be even better than the year before.
“It’s great being home in the offseason but there’s not much you can do when it’s 50 degrees outside,” Beck, 25 and a member of the Chicago White Sox jerseys organization, said. “It will be great having somebody to throw with, and I know a bunch of guys who will be out there. Since I missed the end of the season with surgery, I wanted to get a head start on things.”
While Beck’s fourth professional season did end with an elbow injury in August, the year was highlighted by his first call up to the Major Leagues on May 28 at Camden Yards in Baltimore. Pitching the second game of a doubleheader against the Orioles jerseys, Beck gave up 10 hits, four walks and five runs (four earned) in a 6 3 loss before returning the next day to AAA Charlotte.
When recalling the day of his introduction to The Show, Beck the Athens Banner Herald’s Player of the Year in 2009 says the moments flew by and added that he was less than pleased with his performance, although he admitted he did not feel out of place.
“I thought high school and college went by fast, but this was like it was 30 seconds and it was over,” the Commerce native said. “It was probably the biggest adrenaline rush that you can even think of. It was amazing. You dream about it as a kid, and to accomplish that, even though it was short lived, you can say you were in the big leagues. And hopefully I can do that again and stick around longer.
“After I got back, I was kind of disappointed with the outcome because I knew what I could do. But there was a sense of belonging, and getting through six innings without having my best stuff, especially against a good Baltimore lineup from top to bottom, was encouraging. It’s fun to say that my first game was in Camden Yards, with all the history in that city. It’s amazing.”
Beck, who is married to the former Mimi DuBose, an outstanding basketball player at Jefferson and Georgia Southern whose father happens to be longtime Jefferson boys coach Bolling DuBose, says that his day at Oriole Park was made complete when Bolling DuBose along with Jefferson baseball coach Tommy Knight traveled to Baltimore to see him pitch.
“Coach DuBose and Coach Knight hopped on a redeye to come to Baltimore, which was awesome,” he said. “I wish I could remember more of it than I do. It seemed like it all happened in the blink of an eye.”
At Charlotte last season, Beck went 3 2 with a 3.15 ERA. In his minor league career (which has also included stops at Great Falls in the Rookie League, Class A Winston Salem and Class AA Birmingham), he’s pitched in 78 games (69 starts) and is 26 26 with a 3.43 ERA.
Beck, who was originally drafted in 2009 by Cleveland but opted to play at Georgia Southern for two years before being drafted by Chicago in 2012, knows full well the vagaries of professional baseball and knows there’s a lot about his future that’s out of his control. But he’s determined that he’ll fight to remain in the game he loves.
“I feel really positive about this year,” he said. “I’ve put in a lot of work this offseason to get back, but you can’t worry about a lot of it because you don’t have the final say about it. In spring training, you perform and then wholesale baseball jerseys you get your assignment and you go from there, whether that’s Chicago, Charlotte or Birmingham or wherever, and then you compete to try to get to the big leagues or stay in the big leagues.”