Other than El Tiante, nobody rocked the Fu Manchu as hard as “Shooter.” The right-hander, who had been a dominating closer in San Francisco and Chicago (saving 48 games for the perhaps the best team ever to miss the playoffs, the ’93 Giants, followed by 51 saves for the ’98 Cubs), arrived in Boston in time for the ’99 stretch run and was a valuable contributor to the bullpen the next two seasons. His signature stance, hunched over, right arm dangling as Beck’s eyes and the mustache peered out from under the bill of his cap, was mimicked in many a backyard wiffleball game.
Beck’s lifestyle embodied the “Devil may care” nature of sporting such a ‘stache. Following Tommy John surgery, the amiable reliever worked his way back through the Minors, parking his camper beyond the outfield walls of the Iowa Cubs stadium and welcoming fans to come by, visit and have a beer.
Sadly, Beck passed away in 2007.