Thursday, February 26, 2009

#45 & 46 -- Glenn Beckert

Glenn Beckert

Glenn put up solid minor league numbers, but his chance to play did not come because he wowed the Cubs' management into fitting him in over the prior incumbent. Sadly, Ken Hubbs died in a plane crash during the off-season after 1963. The 1964 second baseman was a revolving door of guys that couldn't get the job done, so they moved Beckert over from short. They got a good second baseman that made 4 All-Star teams from 1969-1972. That Cub infield was pretty strong in the late 60's, featuring Ernie Banks, Beckert, Don Kessinger and Ron Santo. That was definitely the Cubs' strength.

Glenn here was coming off the best year of his career, hitting .342. It was also his best year of OPS+, but that stat of 108 being your career best is far less impressive than his batting average. He didn't walk, strikeout or hit for any power, so what you got out of the batting average was what you were going to get.

Glenn's career went into a nosedive. After 1973 the Cubs overhauled the team. Beckert went to the Padres for outfielder Jerry Morales. Glenn didn't put up the numbers in San Diego, splitting time at second with Derrel Thomas. He was released in April 1975 and that was it.

The action card isn't any great shakes. He's finishing off a practice swing in Candlestick. Normally a practice swing when you're not even at bat shouldn't be part of an "action" card, but he sure put a lot of effort into that practice swing. Perhaps that kind of effort in the on deck circle at making sure you follow through properly is what leads to a guy hitting .342. I guess it's not as cold in Candlestick as it usually is during the summer because he's got regular T-shirt sleeves instead of the shimmering plastic windbreader showin in his regular card.


  1. Always interesting to read others perspective of a Chicago Cub from years gone by. Beckert was one of the finest contact hitters of his day and a core of the "great" Cubs infield of the late sixties / early seventies. He does have a career .283 BA - not too shabby. I like that "rubber" suit he is wearing on card #45, is he really trying to lose weight ? Thanks for the flashback.

  2. Believe it or not, I always thought Beckert was a really good second baseman, largely because he hit .342 in 1972. You know, if a guy can hit .342, he must be great?

    Matty Alou was another guy like that. I really liked him because he was a Cardinal that hit well when I first started following baseball, but he was another slappy that didn't draw a lot of walks and you look at his stats now and it's just not the same.