Former Chicago Cubs second baseman Glenn Beckert was an outstanding ballplayer, but where does he rank among all-time second baseman?
Last weekend the Chicago Cubs announced that esteemed former Cubs second baseman Glenn Beckert had passed away at age 79. In their statement following his death, the Chicago ballclub reminisced about Beckert and recalled, “He always had a memory to share of his time on-and-off the field with his beloved teammates.”
Beckert had an outstanding career, spending nine seasons with the team, followed by two seasons with the San Diego Padres, where his tenure came to an end. Best known for his time with the North Side, Beckert was a four-time All-Star between 1969 and 1972, received MVP votes on three separate occasions, and he rightfully earned a golden glove in 1968. Speaking of the year 1968, that year, he also led the league in runs.
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Not only that, but the Pittsburgh native was also the clubs’ starting second baseman for eight Opening Days, and he frequently hit second in the lineup. If this isn’t enough to get you to appreciate Beckert’s skill, he also retired from the game with a 4.4% strikeout rate, which shows his strength on offense. In fact, former manager Joe Maddon tweeted that Beckert was “so proud of his minimal strikeouts.”
Throughout his career, Beckert slashed .283/.328/.345. In 1971 Beckert hit his career-high .342 despite falling to an injury at the end of the 1971 season. After that season, Beckert was only with the team for a few more years in 1973 when he was traded Beckert along with Bobby Fenwick to the Padres. With San Diego, Beckert was a utility infielder and a pinch hitter in before he was released in 1975.
After Beckert’s career came to a close, he stayed very active within the Cubs organization. More often than not, Beckert appeared at both Wrigley Field and Cubs Conventions. Always having been a fan favorite on the north side of Chicago, Beckert continually proved himself to be one of the best all-time second basemen of all time, both on and off the field. However, the question remains: where does Glenn Beckert rank among all-time Cubs’ second baseman?
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While it is rather challenging to put a number on Beckert’s talent and achievements, I believe he ranks within the top five Cubs’ second basemen of all time. I would place Beckert within an exclusive group, also including Ryne Sandberg, Rogers Hornsby, Bill Herman and Johnny Evers.
As far as notable mentions for the top five Cubs’ second basemen of all time, Ben Zobrist definitely makes the cut, and Javier Baez would have if he spent more time at second base opposed to shortstop.