Beckham with the Chicago White Sox
|Atlanta Braves – No. 7|
September 16, 1986 |
|June 4, 2009, for the Chicago White Sox|
(through August 12, 2016)
|Runs batted in||327|
James Gordon Beckham III (born September 16, 1986) is an American professional baseball third baseman for the Atlanta Braves of Major League Baseball (MLB). He previously played for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and Chicago White Sox. Beckham has primarily been a second baseman throughout his career, but has since transitioned to also playing third base.
Growing up in Atlanta, Beckham played quarterback and free safety for The Westminster Schools (like his father, James Gordon Beckham Jr., who went on to play quarterback for the University of South Carolina). His mother also attended the University of South Carolina, where she was a cheerleader for both football and basketball. In 2004, Gordon led the Westminster Wildcats to their first and only undefeated season, breaking his father's single-season record for touchdown passes by one in the process. Beckham was given 1st Team All-State honors as both a junior for free safety and then as a senior for quarterback. While at The Westminster Schools, Beckham also starred in the classroom, earning a 3.7 GPA average through his high school years. Beckham was an honorary member of the Chi Phi Fraternity while attending the University of Georgia. Gordon also has two younger sisters, Gwen, and Grace.
As a freshman in 2006, Beckham started all 81 games at shortstop, helping to lead the University of Georgia Bulldogs to the College World Series. He was named a Freshman All-American that year. As a sophomore, he started all 56 games that Georgia played. As a junior, he was the only unanimous selection to the All-SEC First Team and was selected as the SEC Player of the Year. He was also selected as an All-American, an Academic All-American, a Finalist for the NCAA Player of the Year and a Finalist for the Golden Spikes Award. He led the NCAA in home runs that year, setting the school's single season home run record (26) and tied the school record for most home runs in a career (51) against NC State on June 8, 2008 in the deciding third game of the Super Regionals that sent Georgia to the College World Series. The home run came on his last at-bat at his home Foley Field, after which he received a curtain call. On June 25, 2008 with his last at bat as a college player, Beckham tied Matt Clark of LSU as the 2008 season home run leader (28). He finished college with 53 home runs, the most ever by a player at the University of Georgia.
Beckham was selected eighth overall in the 2008 Major League Baseball Draft by the Chicago White Sox. Considered the number 1 rated prospect in the Chicago White Sox system at the start of the 2009 season according to Baseball America, Beckham played in the Arizona Fall League for the Peoria Saguaros. He lit up the AFL, hitting .394 with 3 HRs and a .468 OBP in 66 at-bats. He continued to impress in Spring Training, hitting .270 with 2 HR and 6 RBI in 37 at-bats. He forced his way into contention for the Sox' 25-man opening day roster, but it was eventually decided that he should start the season at the Sox' Double-A affiliate, the Birmingham Barons. After batting .299 over 38 games with the Barons, Beckham was promoted to Class AAA Charlotte Knights on May 27, 2009 and switched from his natural position at shortstop to third base. This was seen as a clear indication that he was being prepared for a Major League call-up, as White Sox third baseman Josh Fields was struggling at the plate and on defense.
Chicago White Sox
On June 3, 2009, the White Sox purchased Beckham's contract, adding him to the major league roster after he had hit .326 with 23 doubles, four home runs and 25 RBI in 175 at-bats between Double-A Birmingham and Triple-A Charlotte. Thus, Beckham reached the Majors 364 days after he was selected by the White Sox. He became the second position player from his draft class, behind the Giants' Conor Gillaspie, to make his MLB debut when, on June 4, 2009, he started at third base for the White Sox against the Oakland Athletics. In his debut Beckham went 0-3 with a strikeout and reached on a fielder's choice. He became the Sox' everyday starting third baseman, due to Josh Fields, and utility infielder Wilson Betemit's inadequacies at the plate and on defense.
Beckham struggled initially in the major leagues, going 2-for-28 over his first eight games. He got his first MLB hit, a single to center field, in his 14th at-bat on June 9, 2009 at U.S. Cellular Field, after which he received a standing ovation from the home crowd. On June 20, 2009, Beckham hit his first major league home run, a three-run shot in the fourth inning of the annual MLB Civil Rights Game, off Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Johnny Cueto. Beckham's milestone home run came while the Reds were ahead 5-0, and sparked a comeback victory for the Sox. On June 27, 2009, Beckham hit a walk-off single with two men on and two out in the bottom of the 9th inning against the crosstown rival Chicago Cubs, his first walk-off hit. On June 29, 2009, Beckham went 3 for 3 with a walk and 2 RBIs as the Sox beat the Cleveland Indians 6 to 3. Beckham uses The Outfield's hit song Your Love as his walk-up song as he did at The University of Georgia.
On October 20, 2009, Beckham was named the Sporting News' 2009 American League Rookie of the Year, as selected by a panel of 338 major league players, 22 managers and 31 general managers and assistant general managers. On October 26, 2009 Beckham was voted the American League Rookie of the Year by the MLBPA, which is voted on in September by every player on a major league roster. On April 10, 2013, Beckham was placed on the disabled list for a fractured left hamate bone, and was expected to be out six to eight weeks.
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
On August 21, 2014 Beckham was traded to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim for a player to be named later. The trade was completed on February 4, 2015, as minor leaguer Yency Almonte was sent to the White Sox.
Return to the White Sox
- Asher, Gene (November 2008). "Bat It Like Beckham". Georgia Trend. Retrieved December 3, 2015.
- Gilespie, Bob (August 3, 2008). "Hillary's legacy extends off the field". The State. Retrieved December 3, 2015.
- "Catching Up With Major Leaguer Gordon Beckham". Georgia Bulldogs. November 29, 2010. Retrieved December 3, 2015.
- Rosecrans, C. Trent (December 27, 2012). "Gordon Beckham engaged to 'Amazing Race' contestant". CBS Sports. Retrieved December 3, 2015.
- "Make-or-break year for White Sox's Gordon Beckham". Chicago Trbune. Retrieved December 2, 2015.
- "BaseballAmerica.com: Prospects: Rankings: Organization Top 10 Prospects: Chicago White Sox: Top 10 Prospects With Scouting Reports". baseballamerica.com. November 17, 2008. Retrieved December 2, 2015.
- "MLB Baseball Spring Training Leaders - Chicago White Sox - Major League Baseball - ESPN". ESPN.com. Retrieved December 2, 2015.
- "BaseballAmerica.com: Stats: Gordon Beckham". baseballamerica.com. Retrieved December 2, 2015.
- "Beckham's first homer perfectly timed". Chicago White Sox. Retrieved December 2, 2015.
- "Angels get 2B Beckham from White Sox". ESPN.com. Associated Press. August 21, 2014. Retrieved August 21, 2014.
- "White Sox move to release outfielder Dayan Viciedo". ESPN.com. Associated Press. February 4, 2015. Retrieved February 5, 2015.
- Steve Adams. "White Sox Sign Gordon Beckham, Designate Dayan Viciedo For Assignment". MLB Trade Rumors. Retrieved December 2, 2015.
- Braves add former Bulldog Gordon Beckham
- James, Pat (July 1, 2016). "Beckham could come off DL on Monday". MLB.com. Retrieved July 1, 2016.
- Career statistics and player information from MLB, or ESPN, or Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or The Baseball Cube, or Baseball-Reference (Minors)
|Topps Rookie All-Star Third Baseman
|Sporting News AL Rookie of the Year