Thinking back to the years when Chicago Cubs greats’ Billy Williams, Ron Santo, Ernie Banks, and Fergie Jenkins played. All of them, incidentally are in the Hall of Fame.
It is a bit bewildering why a Chicago Cubs team didn’t get into the playoffs. Those players were great. And, Ryne Sandberg came after them and played great at second base too.
But, there was another Cubs player who played at second base and he isn’t as well known as Santo or Sandberg. Glenn Beckert had a great nine-year career with the Cubs. Over the course of his career, he played from 1965-73, in an era of top players.
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Glenn Beckert played nine straight years with Chicago till he was traded to San Diego toward the end of his 11-year career. When he was with the Cubbies, he played solid defense and got on base. He did the little things you don’t notice in the box score.
Of course, his peers and people in the game did as he was voted to the All-Star game four times and led the league in scoring in 1968. He was knocked in by the hitters of the likes of Williams, Santo, or Banks.
Additionally, he won a Gold Glove that same year and led the league in assists in his rookie year. Beckert batted a career-high .342 in 1971 finishing third in batting average behind Joe Torre and Ralph Garr.
Glenn came to the majors when the late Ken Hubbs was killed in a plane crash in the winter of 1964. From 1965-69, he was part of the infield that included Ron Santo at third base. Don Kessinger, the shortstop, and Ernie Banks at first base.
I remember Beckert as a steady presence at second base. He didn’t hurt you on the field and he was a tough out. In fact, he led the National League five times with the fewest strikeouts per at-bat. Back when pitcher Bob Gibson of the Cardinals was in his prime.
Soon after his career ended, he worked as a trader at the Chicago Board of Trade before heading to his native Pittsburgh where, at 75, he still resides.
He made the list of top 100 Cubs of All-time and he deserves it.