As you may have heard, former Giants closer Rod “Shooter” Beck was found dead in his home on Saturday. He was only 38 years old. In the ’90s, Beck was a Bay Area fan favorite (and a favorite of the sports writers), not to mention a damn good closer. From his epic, ice-cold save to clinch the 1997 division title to his singular mustache-mullet appearance (with a personality to match), Beck’s place as a Giants icon was well-cemented even before the weekend’s tragic events. Perhaps even more notable is the amount of heartwarming stories and anecdotes about Beck, be it his work with pediatric AIDS or his habit of picking up hundred dollar bar tabs for complete strangers.
There was no one like “Shooter” and it’s safe to say there won’t be ever again. He found a way into people’s hearts.
Here are some classic Rod Beck quotes:
On new teammate David Wells: “I loved the Wells pickup… I mean, I looked over at him in the clubhouse the other day and it was like seeing myself. Everybody always counts out the bald, fat dude, and yet we’re always there at crunch time. Only thing is, David’s lost about 30 pounds. He’s a mini-me.”
On new teammate Jeff Kent: “I think he’s a hell of a nice guy. But you know, even if he isn’t a nice guy, can he play? That’s what I want to know. I like this guy as a ballplayer more than anything. Good guys are great if they can play.”
On maintaining his weight is not a problem: “I’ve never seen anyone on the disabled list with pulled fat.”
On extending his contract after helping the Cubs reach the 1998 NLDS: “It’s not about money. It’s about winning and getting over the hump. We’ve had the appetizer now, but we left the main course on the table.”
On Blue Jays manager Buck Martinez’s reference to the Red Sox as “Dirt Bags”: “I’ll take that as a compliment.”
Asked if he had acted before: “Sure, every time I went out to the mound. It was all an act.”
ROD BECK: 1968-2007 [SFGate]