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Fred Beck- Former Home Run Leader

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Fred Beck was born as Frederick Thomas Beck and was raised in Havana, Illinois, Beck got his start in organized baseball with semi-pro teams in Havana. He began his professional career with Bloomington of the Illinois–Indiana–Iowa League in 1905. The team planned to use Beck as a pitcher, but he had problems throwing strikes, so he was placed in the outfield. He played with Bloomington until mid-1908, when he was sold to the San Francisco Seals of the Pacific Coast League for $750.[2]

Beck made his major-league debut with the Boston Doves in 1909. In 1910, he tied for the major league lead in home runs with 10.[3] He split 1911 between the Cincinnati Reds and Philadelphia Phillies and spent 1912 and 1913 with the Buffalo Bisons of the International League.[4]


Fred Beck was born as Frederick Thomas Beck, born and raised in Havana, Illinois, was born on November 17, 1886 and began playing baseball early on his life. His start was with semi pro teams in an around Havana. It was expected he would be a pitcher but issues throwing strikes moved him to the outfield then to first  base.   Professionally, he played for Bloomington in the Three I League (Illinois-Indiana-Iowa). in 1905. At that time, he was 6’1″ and 180 lbs. He threw left-handed and batted from the left side. According to this incomplete roster, he was one of the younger players on the team. He was a first baseman for the Bloomington Bloomers.

In 1908, Beck was sold to the San Francisco Seals of the Pacific Coast League for $750. He made his major league debut on April 14, 1909 with the Boston Doves. He played in 96 games as a utility person and was on his way. In 1910 he tied the league leaders for the most home runs with 10 and played in 154 games. He split time between the Cincinnati Reds and Philadelphia Phillies in 1911. Feed Beck was in the International League in 1912 and 1913.

He was well thought of among his peers and was elected to the board of directors of the Baseball Players Fraternity which was the players union.  A new league called the Federal League began in 1914 and Fred Back was a member of the Chicago Whales. He played 157 games in 1914 and another 110 in 1915.  He went back to the minor leagues for 1916 and 1917.

In 1918, Fred Beck was called into military service. When he returned he played in the minor leagues from 1919 to 1926. Then he was the player-manager for the Cedar Rapids Bunnies in 1926. The team went 38-84 on the season.

After his retirement from baseball he became a  clerk at  the Taylor House Hotel in Havana, Il. Fred Beck died on March 12, 1962 and is buried in Laurel Hills Cemetery in  his hometown of Havana.

bout the author– Tom Knuppel has been writing about baseball and sports for a few decades. As an avid St. Louis Cardinals fan he began with the blog CardinalsGM. Tom is a member of the United Cardinals Bloggers and the Baseball Bloggers Alliance. He also maintains the History of Cardinals website. More recently he has been busy at KnupSolutions and the primary writer of many sports at KnupSports and adds content at Sports 2.0. Tom is a retired High School English and Speech teacher and has completed over one hundred sportsbook reviews. He also can be followed on Twitter at tknup.  Feel free to contact Tom at


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