April 12, 2020 at 1:19 PM by Dr. Drang
“Santo, Kessinger, Beckert, Banks—the infield, third to first.”
How many hundreds of times did I hear Jack Brickhouse say that? When I was in my prime baseball-watching years of the late ’60s and early ’70s, the Cubs infield was solid, immutable. With Glenn Beckert’s death today, only Don Kessinger1 is left.
Beckert batted second, behind Kessinger and ahead of Billy Williams—that was also immutable—and was a decent if unexceptional contact hitter except for that one year, 1971, in which he batted .342. Still came in third in the BA race behind Joe Torre and Ralph Garr, because winning was never a Cub thing.
I maintain that no shortstop went to his right better than Kessinger. He regularly threw people out on grounders that even excellent shortstops would only prevent from going into the outfield. ↩