May 7, 2019

Another Decatur, IL collection: Walter "Boom-Boom" Beck

As a sports reporter in Decatur, IL, I get excited when there's a local connection to a professional player, be it baseball, football, basketball or any sport. But my heart is always with baseball and so I have started building collections for local players, most notably Eisenhower High School graduate Bill Madlock.  

Another Decatur native I'm starting to collect is Walter Beck. He pitched spuradically from 1929 to 1945 for the St. Louis Browns, Brooklyn Dodgers, Philadelphia Phillies, Detroit Tigers, Cincinnati Reds, and Pittsburgh Pirates. He also made a few memorable baseball card appearances including the 1940 Play Ball set, the 1934 Diamond Baseball Matchcover set and 1934 Goudey. 

I tracked down a graded copy of his 1934 Goudey appearance which features a little cameo by Lou Gehrig at the bottom.


The back has a write up of Beck's career and his pitching strengths which is attributed to Gehrig. I always find it funny thinking about the "Iron Horse" actually writing these and maybe putting them off until a deadline was approaching and then pulling an all-nighter to get them submitted.


 The last line reminds us that "He was born in Decatur, Ill., 1906."