Death would not ordinarily be something we would expect to "celebrate" as we end 2007and head into a new year full of hope. But Kash Beauchamp, recently named manager of the new Wichita (KS) Wingnuts of the American Association, reminded this corner there has been a celebration of sorts with the passing of his father, onetime major league first baseman-outfielder Jim Beauchamp during the holiday season.
"The outpouring of support has truly made this a joyous event," Kash said in an email. We must realize Jim Beauchamp had been ill for some time. "Dad fought a great battle, outliving expectations by months. He passed peacefully...which was my prayer."
The Beauchamp family has had an impressive baseball history. Jim, only 68 at the time of his death, played in 393 major league games over an 11-year span (1963-73), finishing with the New York Mets in the World Series of '73 where he went 0-for-4. He was Field Operations Supervisor for the Atlanta Braves up to the end of his life.
"His two proudest (baseball) moments," Kash said of his father were having a new high school baseball diamond in his hometown of Grove, OK named after him, and helping raise money for Southwest Christian Care, which helps handicapped children and provides hospice care.
Kash did not reach the majors as a player although he was the first Independent Baseball player signed by a major league organization (Cincinnati) in the startup year of 1993, and he has earned his stripes as a successful Independent manager as well as in coordinating player acquisitions in recent seasons for both the Golden League and the South Coast League.
The younger Beauchamp believes his father, "Shootfire" as he called him, is in a better place and once again hitting "fungoes", which any baseball man would like to be doing.
Monday, December 31, 2007
THE BEAUCHAMP LEGACY
Former chief spokesman for Major League Baseball Commissioners Bowie Kuhn and Peter Ueberroth. Six years as publicity director for the Kansas City Royals, and a background in newspaper, radio and television. Started Wirz & Associates, a sports PR and consulting firm, in 1985. Has written extensively on Independent Baseball since 2003.