One of my favorite Giants of all time (indeed beloved by many fans) passed away yesterday, far too young. Rod Beck, the Giants closer in their 103 win year of 1993, died at his home in Phoenix at the age of 38.
He had a wicked split finger fastball at the start of his career, and when he didn't have that anymore he got his saves with only guts and guile.
Fans identified with him because it was obvious how much he loved to play the game, and his physique was more like a fan's than a ballplayer's.
He had some personal demons, and perhaps they led to his death way too young, but when he spent his summers in San Francisco in the mid 90s, he exemplified Laughing Larry Doyle's timeless quote: "It's great to be young and a Giant..."
RIP Shooter. St. Peter will probably go through a pack of cigarettes the first time you try to close out the home half of the ninth up in Heaven, but you'll close it out.