June 25, 2007 / 12:30 AM / 12 years ago

Pitcher Rod Beck found dead at home

PHOENIX (Reuters) - Rod Beck, an All-Star relief pitcher who notched 286 saves during a 13-year Major League Baseball career, has been found dead at his Phoenix home, police said on Sunday.

Boston Red Sox pitcher Rod Beck reacts against the Cleveland Indians in Game 3 of their American League Division Series baseball game at Fenway Park in Boston in this October 9, 1999 file photo. Beck, an All-Star relief pitcher who notched 286 saves during a 13-year Major League Baseball career, has been found dead at his Phoenix home, police said on June 24, 2007. REUTERS/Jim Bourg

An investigation by the county medical examiner to determine the cause of Beck’s death could take “a number of days,” according to police spokesman Sgt. Andy Hill, who added that foul play is not suspected.

Beck, 38, a three time All-Star, recorded 51 saves for the Chicago Cubs in 1998 but only notched 36 saves over the next six seasons.

He also pitched for the San Francisco Giants and the Boston Red Sox, before finishing his career with the San Diego Padres in 2004.

“When our partnership group took over the Giants in 1993, all of San Francisco was treated to a wonderful 103-win year,” Giants owner Peter Magowan said in a statement.

“Nobody who was a part of that will forget Rod’s 48 saves. When we reached our dream of the playoffs in 1997, it was only fitting that Rod was on the mound for the final out that clinched the National League West.

“Everyone in the Giants organization is deeply saddened by the loss of a dear friend. Rod Beck was a true Giant in every sense of the word — from his dedication on the field to his selflessness away from the park.”

Beck, who sported a long mustache, was excitable on the mound and earned the nickname “Shooter.”

Off the field, Beck was known to have wrestled with drug problems and went into rehabilitation during his last year in professional baseball.

Hill said that police were called to Beck’s home in a Phoenix suburb on Saturday.

Hill said his identity was not released until Sunday because Beck’s two children were away at summer camp and needed to be informed.

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