Josh Beckett

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Josh Beckett
Josh Beckett on April 19, 2013.jpg
Los Angeles Dodgers – No. 61
Starting pitcher
Born: (1980-05-15) May 15, 1980 (age 33)
Spring, Texas
Bats: Right Throws: Right
MLB debut
September 4, 2001 for the Florida Marlins
Career statistics
(through 2013 season)
Win–loss record 132–100
Earned run average 3.94
Strikeouts 1,794
Career highlights and awards

Joshua "Josh" Patrick Beckett (born May 15, 1980) is an American professional baseball pitcher with the Los Angeles Dodgers of Major League Baseball (MLB). During his career in the playoffs, he won the 2003 World Series with the Florida Marlins and the 2007 World Series with the Boston Red Sox, and received the 2007 ALCS MVP award for his play in that series, to add to the 2003 World Series MVP award.

Baseball career[edit]

Florida Marlins (2001–2005)[edit]

A resident of Spring, Texas, Beckett was discovered by Florida Marlins scout Bob Laurie. Beckett had signed a letter of intent to play with the Texas A&M Aggies but went pro. Beckett spent most of his early years with the Marlins as a member of the team's young staff, but injuries (most frequently blister problems) limited him to only 99 starts (102 appearances) from 2002 to 2005.

Beckett's major league debut was on September 4, 2001, against the Chicago Cubs, in which he gave up one hit over six shutout innings. He finished 2001 with four games started, a 2–2 record, and an ERA of 1.50.

Beckett won the 2003 World Series MVP Award with two strong performances on three days' rest. Teamed up with catcher Iván Rodríguez, he helped the Marlins win the World Series, defeating the New York Yankees. During Game 6 at Yankee Stadium, he shut out the Yankees in a complete game, striking out 9 batters and clinching the series by making the tag for the final out.

Boston Red Sox (2006–2012)[edit]

In a deal that was made official on Thanksgiving Day, 2005, Beckett was traded to the Red Sox along with third baseman Mike Lowell and relief pitcher Guillermo Mota for minor league prospects shortstop Hanley Ramírez and pitchers Aníbal Sánchez, Jesús Delgado and Harvey García. Beckett and Lowell were among a prominent list of veterans the Marlins traded in what was organizationally termed a market correction.[1]

Josh Beckett was the first Red Sox pitcher to hit a home run in 35 years — since the advent of the designated hitter rule — when he took Phillies' pitcher Brett Myers deep during an interleague game on May 20, 2006. Beckett repeated the feat on June 14, 2009 when he homered against Phillies pitcher J.A. Happ. Having gone deep once while with the Marlins, Beckett has thus hit more home runs playing for an American League team than a National League team.[2] On July 18, 2006, Beckett signed a three-year, $30 million contract extension with a $10 million club option for 2010.[3] Beckett completed his first season with the Boston Red Sox with a record of 16–11 and a 5.01 ERA. In 204.2 IP, he gave up 191 hits and struck out 158 batters while walking 74. Beckett allowed 36 home runs, tied for second most in the majors.

At the start of the 2007 season, Beckett adjusted to throwing more breaking pitches and fewer fastballs. At the same time, he learned to locate his pitches rather than simply get strikes by power. He reduced his walks and home runs allowed by nearly half, contributing to his success in 2007. Beckett became one of six Boston Red Sox pitchers in history to win their first 7 starts. George Winter and Mickey Harris both won their first 7 starts in a particular season, and Babe Ruth, Dave Ferriss and Roger Moret all won their first 8 starts in a particular season. After a strong first half, posting a 12–2 record with a 3.44 ERA, he was selected to the American League team in the 2007 MLB All-Star Game. Beckett earned the victory in the game after pitching two innings, giving up only one hit, and striking out two. Beckett became the first pitcher to win 20 games in a season since 2005, finishing the season with a record of 20–7, a 3.27 ERA, 194 strikeouts, a 1.14 WHIP, and only 40 walks and 17 home runs allowed. Beckett's 2–0 record and 1.93 ERA against the Cleveland Indians in the ALCS earned him the 2007 ALCS MVP Award, and he started and won the first game of the 2007 World Series against the Colorado Rockies, pitching 7 innings, allowing 1 run on 6 hits, and striking out 9 batters. Boston would go on to sweep the Rockies in the series.

Beckett during his tenure with the Boston Red Sox in 2008

On May 8, 2008, Beckett recorded his 1,000th career strikeout, when Brandon Inge of the Detroit Tigers struck out swinging in the seventh inning. Through 2008, Beckett had a 48–28 record and a 4.11 ERA in his three seasons with the Red Sox.[4]

In 2009, during his first Opening Day start with the Red Sox, Beckett struck out 10 through 7 innings allowing only 1 run and two hits in a 5–3 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays. On April 14, 2009, MLB fined and suspended Beckett 6 games for intentionally throwing over the head of Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim outfielder Bobby Abreu. Beckett later appealed the suspension and got it reduced to 5 games. The Red Sox exercised their club option on him for the 2010 season.

On June 20, 2009, Beckett recorded his first complete game shutout in three years against the Atlanta Braves in a duel against former Red Sox pitcher Derek Lowe. The shutout was his first in a Red Sox uniform. On July 5, 2009, he was selected to represent Boston in the 2009 All Star Game.

Beckett recorded his 100th career win on July 12, 2009, pitching a complete game shutout against the Kansas City Royals at Fenway Park.

On August 7, 2009, Beckett was a part of a memorable game against the New York Yankees. He and former Marlins teammate A. J. Burnett endured a pitching duel that actually sparked the game to turn into a fifteen inning, five hour and thirty-three minute game. Josh threw seven shutout innings, Burnett threw seven and two thirds. The Red Sox eventually lost the game in the bottom of the 15th, when Alex Rodriguez hit a walk-off two run home run.

On April 5, 2010, the Red Sox and Beckett agreed to a four-year, $68 million contract extension, through 2014.[5] He was placed on the disabled list on May 19 with a lower back strain and returned from the injury on July 23.

On September 16th, Beckett recorded his 1000th strikeout as a member of the Red Sox. He struck out Tampa Bay's Ben Zobrist in the sixth inning.[6]

In the end of the 2011 season, Beckett and two more starting pitchers (John Lackey and Jon Lester, allegedly) were in the center of a controversy where the three (and sometimes more) drank alcohol during games. Josh Beckett was noted as the leader of this.[7]

Things did not get any better for Beckett in the 2012 season, in which he went 5–11 with a 5.23 ERA as a Red Sox. [8] He was also the center of yet another controversy when it was reported he played several rounds of golf despite having been scratched from his start due to a lat muscle injury. [9]

Los Angeles Dodgers (2012–present)[edit]

On August 25, 2012, he was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers (along with Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford and Nick Punto and $11 million in cash) for James Loney, Iván DeJesús, Jr., Allen Webster, and two players to be named later (Jerry Sands and Rubby De La Rosa). [10] He started 7 games for the Dodgers after the trade and was 2–3 with a 2.93 ERA.

Beckett struggled in the early part of the 2013 season with an 0-5 record and 5.19 ERA in 8 starts. He was placed on the disabled list with a groin strain on May 15.[11] While on the disabled list he began to experience numbness and tingling in his hand so he went to see a nerve specialist and expressed doubt as to whether he would be able to pitch again. The Dodgers shut him down from pitching for a month while he underwent a rigorous rehabilitation program in an effort to avoid season-ending surgery.[12] However, the tingling sensation returned when he attempted to resume his throwing program in late June. He was diagnosed with thoracic outlet syndrome, which required him to undergo surgery on July 10, 2013 that ended his 2013 season.[13]

Uniform number[edit]

Beckett wore uniform #19 throughout his six-and-a-half years with the Red Sox. During his previous stint with the Marlins, when Mike Lowell already had #19, Beckett first wore #61 (which is "19" upside-down) and then #21. Beckett and Lowell went from the Marlins to the Red Sox together, but it was Beckett who then claimed #19 while Lowell wore #25 with the Red Sox.[14][15] Upon joining the Dodgers, who have retired #19 in honor of Jim Gilliam, Beckett returned to wearing #61.[14]

Pitching style[edit]

Beckett throws five pitches regularly: a four-seam fastball (91–94 mph), a two-seam fastball (91–94), a cutter (89–91), a curveball (73–79), and a changeup (86–88). Beckett uses all five of his pitches against left-handed hitters but drops the changeup against righties. He tends to use his curveball when ahead in the count, bolstered by its 34% whiff rate. Beckett also began to experiment with a slider and splitter in 2012.[16]

Personal life[edit]

Beckett with President Barack Obama at Busch Stadium

Josh Beckett has been linked to such celebrities as model/sportcaster Leeann Tweeden and country singer Danielle Peck.[17] On October 18, 2007, Peck was invited by the Cleveland Indians to sing the National Anthem prior to Game 5 of the American League Championship Series between the Red Sox and Indians.[18] Beckett was the starting pitcher in that game, and some Red Sox fans theorized that her invitation was an attempt by the Indians organization to distract Beckett. The Indians denied this claim.[19] It did not seem to affect Beckett, as he beat the Indians with eight innings pitched, five hits, one walk, one earned run, and eleven strikeouts. In a postgame interview with Beckett, when asked if he was affected by Peck's presence, Beckett replied, "I don't get paid to make those decisions. She's a friend of mine. It doesn't bother me at all. Thanks for flyin' one of my friends to the game so she could watch it for free."[20] Beckett was also linked at one time to actress Alyssa Milano but she has stated in her baseball blog that she and Beckett never dated.[21] In April 2010 the Inside Track gossip column in the Boston Herald reported that he was engaged to Holly Fisher, an aeronautics engineer and former high school classmate. They got married on January 22, 2011.[22] Josh became a father for the first time when his wife Holly gave birth to their first child, a girl named Ryann, in September 2011.

Beckett has a house in San Antonio and is a fan of the San Antonio Spurs.[23] He is also a fan of the Texas A&M Aggies as he committed to the University under then-Aggie head coach Mark Johnson before being drafted; he is still often seen at Texas A&M football games.

Beckett is an avid deer hunter and has been since childhood. He was the 2002 winner of the Muy Grande Deer Contest for bringing down the largest buck during the Texas deer hunting season.[24] After the Marlins' World Series win he appeared in advertisements for the National Rifle Association.[25] He owns Herradura Ranch, a 7,000 acres (28 km2) deer-hunting ranch outside of Cotulla, Texas.[26]

He was featured in a Kevin Fowler music video alongside his teammates John Lackey, Tim Wakefield, Jon Lester and Clay Buchholz.[27]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Frisaro, Joe (December 5, 2005). "Marlins deal Lo Duca to Mets". Retrieved June 20, 2010. 
  2. ^ "Josh Beckett Career Statistics". 2010-07-06. Retrieved 2010-07-08. 
  3. ^ "Red Sox sign righty Beckett to three-year extension". Associated Press. July 19, 2006. Retrieved June 20, 2010. 
  4. ^ Chuck, Bill (April 2, 2009). "100 random things about the Red Sox, Rays, and Yankees". The Boston Globe. Retrieved May 2, 2009. 
  5. ^ Browne, Ian (April 5, 2010). "Beckett, Red Sox complete extension". Retrieved April 5, 2010. 
  6. ^ "Josh Beckett returns, helps Red Sox finally solve Rays". 
  7. ^ Brown, Ian (October 17, 2011). "Lester: We did drink in clubhouse during games". Retrieved October 20, 2011. 
  8. ^ "Joshua Patrick Beckett". Retrieved 30 August 2012. 
  9. ^ Silva, Steve (May 9, 2012). "Report: Josh Beckett played golf before missing Red Sox start". Retrieved 30 August 2012. 
  10. ^ Axisa, Mike (August 25, 2012). "Red Sox, Dodgers Complete Nine-Player Blockbuster". 
  11. ^ Snyder, Mike (May 15, 2013). "Josh Beckett placed on disabled list with groin strain". 
  12. ^ Hernandez, Dylan (June 5, 2013). "Dodgers' Josh Beckett confident he'll pitch again". 
  13. ^ Laymance, Austin (June 29, 2013). "Beckett to undergo surgery, likely out for season". 
  14. ^ a b "Josh Beckett Statistics and History". Retrieved 2013-08-27. 
  15. ^ "Mike Lowell Statistics and History". Retrieved 2013-08-27. 
  16. ^ "Brooks Baseball · Home of the PitchFX Tool - Player Card: Josh Beckett". Brooks Baseball. Retrieved 19 August 2012. 
  17. ^ White, Paul (October 12, 2007). "Red Sox pitcher Beckett hunts for big game in fall". USA Today. 
  18. ^ Northeast Ohio. "Head games? Tonight's anthem singer is Beckett's ex". Retrieved 2013-08-27. 
  19. ^ [1][dead link]
  20. ^ "World Series Champion Josh Beckett responds to reporter". YouTube. Retrieved 2013-08-27. 
  21. ^ Pierre, Joe (2013-04-01). "*touch* 'em all: An Open Letter To All Sports Journalists". Retrieved 2013-08-27. 
  22. ^ "Red Sox ace Josh Beckett engaged to brainy beauty". 2010-04-09. Retrieved 2013-08-27. 
  23. ^ Red Sox Pitcher Josh Beckett Enjoys San Antonio[dead link]
  24. ^ "Beckett facts". Retrieved 2013-08-27. 
  25. ^ "Worth the Weight". Retrieved 2013-08-27. 
  26. ^ Herradura Ranch
  27. ^ Josh Beckett and other Sox pitchers show up in video for Kevin Fowler song[dead link] Boston Globe, July 19, 2011

External links[edit]