DECATUR, Ill. (WAND) -- Decatur native Walter 'Boom-Boom' Beck doesn't just have one of the most colorful nicknames in baseball history, but he also had one of the sport's longest careers.
WAND's Mark Tupper helps remember the origin story of that famous moniker, plus also the time Beck was part of an Opening Day gimmick at Esker's Tavern in Decatur on Opening Day in 1980.
Beck logged 26 seasons with affiliated teams from 1924 when he was 19 with the St. Louis Browns (MLB) to 1950 when he was an incredible 45 years old pitching for the Toledo Mud Hens (AAA) including 12 seasons in the big leagues with the Browns, Dodgers, Phillies, Tigers, Reds and Pirates.
He led the National League in games started in 1933 (35) and retired with a 38-69 career record over 12 years in the majors. He recorded a 4.28 ERA in 1032.2 career innings.