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Joe Beggs

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Joseph Stanley Beggs
(Fireman)

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[edit] Biographical Information

Joe "Fireman" Beggs had a 9-year career in the major leagues and was a key part of the Cincinnati Reds team that won the 1940 World Series.

Beggs was primarily a reliever except in 1938 as a rookie and in 1946 as a veteran. He led the league in saves in 1940 (when it was not an official statistic) and was among the leaders from 1941 to 1943.

Before coming to the majors, Beggs had pitched for the 1937 Newark Bears team that won 109 games. He came close to pitching a no-hitter, with the only hit being a smash that caromed off his leg. Beggs went 21-4 that year, on a team that also featured Charlie Keller hitting .353.

In 1938 Beggs pitched 12 more games for Newark, going 6-3, but also pitched 14 games at the major league level with the New York Yankees. He was 27 that year, and went 3-2 on a team that featured the veteran Lou Gehrig, the young Joe DiMaggio, and won the 1938 World Series. Beggs did not appear in the series. He gave up 7 home runs in 58 innings, with 3 of the homers hit by Jimmie Foxx.

He was traded after the 1939 season to the Reds, and in 1940 had his most notable season, going 12-3 with 7 saves. His ERA was an even 2.00 in a league where the average ERA was 3.85. The Reds won exactly 100 games. He pitched one inning in Game 3 of the 1940 World Series, coming in when the Reds were losing 5-2 in the 8th inning. He gave up an earned run and an unearned run in the 8th and the Detroit Tigers went on to win the game, 7-4. However, Cincinnati won the series in 7 games.

He continued to pitch as a reliever during wartime in 1941-1943, with winning records each year and at least 5 saves, too, each year. His ERA was excellent in 1942 and 1943 but a bit under par in 1941. In 1944, he pitched in only one game, a starting effort where he pitched 9 innings and gave up only two runs to get the win. Beggs entered the Navy with a commission of lieutenant in April 1944 and was released from active duty in February 1946.

Coming back in 1946, he was used mostly as a starter by the Reds, and continued to pitch well, with a 12-10 record on a team that finished well under .500. His 2.32 ERA was third best in the National League. His control was excellent, as he gave up fewer than 2 walks per nine innings pitched.

By 1947 he was 36 years old, and when he started the season slowly, he was traded to the New York Giants where he spent most of the season, and where his ERA of 4.23 was only a bit worse than the league average of 4.06 and better than the Giants team average of 4.44. Jackie Robinson stole home against him that year. The following year, 1948, he pitched in only one game, in April, and was done as a major leaguer.

After his playing days he managed the Charleston Senators (1949-1950) and the Bluefield Blue-Grays (1952).

[edit] Notable Achievements

[edit] Year-by-Year Managerial Record

Year Team League Record Finish Organization Playoffs
1949 Charleston Senators Central League 67-68 4th Cincinnati Reds Lost League Finals
1950 Charleston Senators Central League 58-73 5th Cincinnati Reds
1952 Bluefield Blue-Grays Appalachian League 52-64 5th (t) None

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