General : : Professional
Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Perfect Game at the Winter Meetings Beckham Appearance Highlights Show

Allan Simpson        
One of the highlights at the Trade Show Tuesday was an appearance by Tampa Bay Rays shortstop Tim Beckham, the No. 1 overall pick in this year’s baseball draft. Beckham was in town to meet with his agents from the Legacy Sports Group, Greg Genske and Brian Peters, and to fraternize with some of the clients represented by the Legacy group.

One of Legacy’s clients is Sabathia, who was in Las Vegas earlier this week to meet with the Yankees and work out the final details of his record-breaking contract. But he had departed Las Vegas by the time Beckham arrived.

Beckham spent a half hour or so at the Perfect Game booth, fraternizing with PG’s Andy Ford, Jason Gerst and Kirk Gardner, who got to know Beckham well when he was a top high school prospect at Griffin (Ga.) High, and attended numerous PG-sponsored showcase events and tournaments prior to being drafted last June.

Asked how his first season of pro ball went, Beckham said enthusiastically, “It was everything I hoped it would be. In a lot of ways, it was like a dream come true the way it all worked out.

“I only hit about .250 (actually .243), so I could have done a little better. But pro ball was harder than I thought it would be. Almost everybody I faced threw hard, the pitches were much sharper and nothing I saw was straight.”

Beckham spent his first season at Princeton of the Rookie-level Appalachian League, and then attended Tampa Bay’s instructional league program in Florida in October. He had the good fortune to get caught up in all the euphoria of the Rays first foray into post-season baseball and took in most of the Rays playoff games against Chicago and Boston, leading to Tampa Bay’s unexpected appearance in the World Series.

“I didn’t see any World Series games because instructional league was over by then,” Beckham said. “But I did see most of the playoff games until then and I got to know all the Rays players pretty well. They were cool, and the whole experience was awesome.”
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