A former SF Giants middle infielder quietly retired in the offseason, ending his 11-year major-league career. Gordon Beckham, who had a very brief tenure with the Giants in 2016, has decided to hang up his cleats.
Beckham was drafted in the first round of the 2008 draft by the Chicago White Sox out of the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia. Not only was Beckham selected in the same draft as Brandon Crawford and Buster Posey, but he was a teammate of the longtime Giants catcher with the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox of the Cape Cod League in 2007.
Infielder Gordon Beckham, who was part of the SF Giants 2016 playoff run quietly retired.
The right-handed bat moved rapidly up the White Sox’s farm system and debuted with the club in the middle of 2009. He had a strong rookie campaign in which he registered a .270/.347/.460 line (106 OPS+) with 14 home runs and 63 RBI in 430 plate appearances while being worth 2.1 WAR.
Many thought he would help usher in the new era of White Sox baseball as the holdovers from the 2005 World Series team began to move on. However, it did not happen as planned, and Beckham’s 2009 would be his best by far.
The bat would never return to his 2009 production and he struggled with the White Sox for the next several years before making stops with the Los Angeles Angels and the Atlanta Braves. In 2016, the Braves shipped him to San Francisco in a late September trade for a middle infield prospect named Richard Rodriguez. Interestingly, Rodriguez never played a game in the Braves organization.
Given that he was traded in September, Beckham was not even eligible for the playoff roster if the Giants made it. He was added to give the team another right-handed bat against a lefty-heavy Los Angeles Dodgers pitching staff in the final three games of the season. He failed to register a hit in five at-bats but he did produce an RBI.
The Giants brought him back on a minor-league contract in 2017 with a camp invite, but he did not make the club and was released shortly thereafter. He was competing against the likes of Aaron Hill and Jimmy Rollins for a spot on the major-league roster.
He spent the next few seasons with the Seattle Mariners (2017-2018) and the Detroit Tigers (2019) before hanging up his cleats. In 11 seasons, he produced a .237/.300/.367 line (80 OPS+) with 80 home runs and 351 while being worth 5.5 WAR.
He may have had only a brief stint with the SF Giants, but he was a popular player in the clubhouse given his ties to Posey and his spot-on Jake Peavy impression. We would like to congratulate Beckham on the completion of a nice and long career.