Boom-Boom Beck supposedly earned his nickname while pitching for Casey Stengel's
Dodgers in 1934. Becoming upset when Stengel came out to remove him when the Dodgers
still had a lead, Beck angrily threw the ball into right field at the old Baker Bowl
in Philadelphia. The ball hit the tin-plated wall and caromed to center. The "boom-boom"
of the rebound roused centerfielder Hack Wilson, who was relaxing during the pitching
change and thought the game had resumed. Wilson pursued the ball and fired a strike
back to the infield.
As an after-dinner speaker, the loquacious Beck later left
audiences shaking their heads as he lamented that America was in danger of giving
baseball back to the Indians. Pitching for atrocious teams but performing none too
well himself, he had only two winning records in 12 major league seasons, a 1-0 mark
in six games in 1927 and an 8-5 record split between the Reds and the Pirates in
the war-weakened 1945 season, his last. He won his last game while coaching at Toledo
(American Association) in 1951, pitching a 10-2 win over Minneapolis at the age of
46 to bring his total professional mark to an even 236-236.
FROM THE BASEBALL CHRONOLOGY
»July 4, 1934: When Dodgers manager Casey Stengel comes out to the mound to remove P Boom Boom Beck from the game in Philadelphia's Baker Bowl, the frustrated Beck turns and fires the ball at the tin wall in RF. Dodgers OF Hack Wilson, not paying attention to the happenings, hears the ball, hurries to retrieve it, and fires a strike to 2B to prevent the imaginary runner from advancing.
»May 14, 1945: Ex-serviceman Mel Bosser makes his ML debut with the Reds and walks 10 Phillies before being relieved in the 8th inning by Boom-Boom Beck. Bosser, whose only pro experience is pitching in Class D, allows eight hits and gets credit for the 5–4 win.
»May 6, 1951:
Boom Boom Beck, 46-year-old coach for the Toledo Mud Hens, takes the mound in the Game One of a twinbill against Minneapolis (AA) and wins 10–2. The victory gives the former major leaguer an overall pro mark of 236-236.