Last Thursday, former Georgia Southern pitcher Chris Beck lived out an experience that thousands can only dream about.
Just three years removed from pitching the Eagles to a Southern Conference championship in his final season with the team, Beck got the call to the big leagues to take the mound for the Chicago White Sox as they took on the Baltimore Orioles in Baltimore.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t quite a fairy tale after the game began, as Manny Machado smacked Beck’s first MLB pitch for a double. Beck went on to be saddled with the loss, but put up a respectable line, allowing four earned runs and striking out three over six innings of work in a 6-3 Chicago defeat.
“A win would have been great, but I’ll remember that moment for the rest of my life,” Beck said. “It’s something that I’ve thought about and played out in my head a thousand times since I was in T-ball. It was a dream come true, and I just wish I could have soaked it all in a little more.”
Beck likely will get another shot in the near future, but his start against the Orioles was followed by orders to return to Triple-A to resume his role as a part of the Charlotte Knights’ starting rotation.
Going back down to the farm had nothing to do with his performance. Since Beck’s start came as part of a doubleheader, MLB rules allowed for an extra player to be used by each team in addition to the normal 25-man roster. Beck was called on to make the start so as not to force any of the White Sox’ normal starters to have to pitch on short rest.
Beck first put on a Chicago uniform when he served as the 26th man during a May 9 doubleheader in Cincinnati, but wasn’t pressed into action. Even before his start against the Orioles began, Beck knew that he was likely headed back to Charlotte.
“It’s not something I worried about or took personally,” Beck said. “I was glad to get the chance. I thought that I threw well and had a decent day, but that’s just baseball. Some days, you feel good and nothing goes your way. Other times, you might get away with some mistakes and get a win.”
Beck wasn’t about to let an 0-1 start to his MLB career get to him.
“Any time you lose, you want to forget about it and move on,” Beck said. “It’s a little different since I’ll never forget my first big league game, but I still have to look at it the same way. (Charlotte’s) next game is against Durham, so I’m already preparing for their lineup.