25 January 2013

on the links with a dodger double dipper

[this is the forty-ninth installment in the double dippers posts.  here are the previous posts - brett butler, omar daaleric young, nick willhitechris gwynn, mickey hatcherdave anderson, don zimmerrafael landestoy, dave hansen, jose vizcaino, hideo nomo, greg maddux, mike madduxjon garland, chan ho parkvicente romogene mauch, denny lewallyn, von joshua, joe moellerdioner navarro, rudy seanez, bart shirleyrandy wolf, ismael valdes, bobby castillo, mike devereaux, pete richert, jay johnstone, jesse orosco, lee lacy, giovanni carrara, jeff weaverted sizemore,  orel hershisertom goodwinjoe fergusoneddie murraymatt lukeken mcmullen, tim wallach, jerry grotedon suttonralph branca, todd hundley, elmer dessens, and guillermo mota.]

joe beckwith was drafted and signed by the dodgers in the 1977 june draft.  two years later, he made his big league debut in a game against the expos at dodger stadium.  beckwith wound up pitching in 17 games during the 1979 campaign, all in relief.  he finished the season with a 1-2 record, a couple of saves, and a 4.34 era. he was in the 1980 topps set
and back with the big club that same year, pitching in 55 games - again all in relief - and posting a 3-3 record with a 1.96 era.  things were looking good for beckwith heading into the 1981 season until an eye injury suffered in spring training caused him to experience double vision and miss the entire season.  he was able to return in 1982 after having eye surgery.

a footnote to history - the cubs and dodgers were in discussions about a trade that would have sent mickey hatcher (another double dipper) and beckwith to chicago for old friend bill buckner, but that fell through when beckwith's vision problems surfaced.  instead, the dodgers sent hatcher to minnesota for ken landreaux, and buckner did not join the pantheon of dodger double dippers.

anyway, beckwith returned to the majors in july of 1982, and stayed there with the dodgers through the 1983 season.  he was 5-5 with 2 saves over the course of those two seasons, and got his first taste of postseason action in the 1983 nlcs with 2.1 scoreless innings in 2 games against the phillies.  after the 1983 season, however, beckwith was traded to the royals for three minor leaguers.  here's his 1984 fleer update card
beckwith appeared in a career high 49 games in each of his seasons as a royal, going 8-4 with a 3.40 era in 1984, and 1-5 with a 4.07 era in 1985.  but, although 1984 was the better season for him individually, it was in 1985 that he was able to pitch in the world series for the only time in his career.  beckwith appeared in one game of the fall classic against the cardinals (game 4) and recorded three strikeouts while allowing no runs and just one hit in 2 scoreless innings of work.  it was his final appearance as a royal, as he was released by kansas city the following spring.  he soon after signed on with the blue jays and was assigned to their aaa affiliate where he pitched until the dodgers purchased his contract on july 31, 1986.

back in la, beckwith appeared in 15 games and did not earn a decision.  his first and last outings were by far his worst of the season, allowing multiple runs while recording just one out, and he was released after the season ended.  sadly, there are no 1986 traded or update cards featuring beckwith as a dodger, nor were there any cards made for him in 1987.

i do have, however, a few cards that he signed for me through the mail, including his 1980 topps rookie card
his 1981 topps card
his 1984 fleer card (hello chavez ravine)
and his 1984 topps card
on a personal note, beckwith was the celebrity in my dad's golf foursome in the don sutton celebrity golf tournament that was held on the central coast back in 1980.  he signed the back of the tournament dinner ticket for me
i'll show the front of that sucker in a future post.

here's to you joe beckwith, thanks for double dipping and signing stuff for me!

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