Yesterday afternoon, the newest South Side phenom Gordon Beckham was named AL Rookie of the Year for the month of July as he led all rookies with a .330 average, three homers and 18 RBI.
Just hours later, he continued to sizzle by blasting a solo homer off of the Angels’ John Lackey in the first inning and tied the game at four with a two-out single in the seventh. It set the stage for Scotty Pods two-out game-winning single in the ninth for a 5-4 Sox win. In GBeck’s first 53 games in the big leagues he has compiled a .316 batting average, six homers, 38 RBI and a .376 on base percentage.
Why do I, and countless other Sox fans, have such a fascination with Beckham? There are many answers. He comes with a lot of fanfare, he plays like a veteran, he has some swagger but not in an off-putting way, and he simply plays the game the right way.
One other factor is that when Sox fans have a prospect that succeeds it’s a special occasion because of all the disappointments in the past. We celebrated the arrival of Harold Baines in the 80s and the Big Hurt, Ventura, McDowell and Fernandez in the 90s, but the names of those who failed still stick with us. For instance, Bee Bee Richard, Kevin Bell, Daryl Boston, Joel Skinner, Scott Ruffcorn, Mike Caruso and Joe Borchard. I won’t belabor the point, but it’s definitely one of the reasons we celebrate Beckham and the ones who make it.
Pods has never been better
By leading off my blog with Beckham, I’m in no way minimizing the impact of our very own Scott Podsednik, who continues to amaze day after day. He’s even better that the terrific ’05 version and has been the catalyst in what recently has been an impressive team effort.
Since joining the club after the start of the season, he has hit .303, with a .357 on base percentage and 16 stolen bases. And his performance last night is an example of his clutch hitting. He doubled with two outs in the seventh and scored on Beckham’s single. In the ninth, he outdid himself with his two-out game-winner, which pulled the Sox within a game of the Tigers in the AL Central.