Joe Beimel

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Joe Beimel
IMG 1757 Joe Beimel.jpg
Beimel with the Colorado Rockies.
Seattle Mariners – No. 97
Relief pitcher
Born: (1977-04-19) April 19, 1977 (age 36)
St. Marys, Pennsylvania
Bats: LeftThrows: Left
MLB debut
April 8, 2001 for the Pittsburgh Pirates
Career statistics
(through 2011)
Win–loss record24–32
Earned run average4.21
Strikeouts332
Teams
 
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Joe Beimel
IMG 1757 Joe Beimel.jpg
Beimel with the Colorado Rockies.
Seattle Mariners – No. 97
Relief pitcher
Born: (1977-04-19) April 19, 1977 (age 36)
St. Marys, Pennsylvania
Bats: LeftThrows: Left
MLB debut
April 8, 2001 for the Pittsburgh Pirates
Career statistics
(through 2011)
Win–loss record24–32
Earned run average4.21
Strikeouts332
Teams

Joseph Ronald Beimel (pronounced "BUY mul") (born April 19, 1977) is an American professional baseball pitcher in the Seattle Mariners of Major League Baseball.

Amateur career[edit]

Beimel attended St. Marys Area High School and was a letterman in football, wrestling, basketball, and baseball. He played two seasons of junior college baseball at Allegany College of Maryland in Cumberland, Maryland and one season at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh. Six former Allegany College players have made it to Major League Baseball. Beimel was the fifth Major League Baseball player to come out of the Allegany College of Maryland program. The five other Allegany Trojans to make the big leagues were John Kruk, Stan Belinda, Steve Kline, Scott Seabol and Scott Patterson. At Allegany, Beimel played for Junior College Hall of Fame Coach Steve Bazarnic. During Beimel's years at Allegany the Trojans advanced to the Junior College World Series both seasons. At Duquesne University he was the team leader in wins and complete games and was second on the staff in strikeouts and ERA.[1]

Professional career[edit]

Pittsburgh Pirates[edit]

He was drafted by the Texas Rangers in the 26th round after his freshman year in college but chose to remain in school. He was later selected in the 18th round of the 1998 draft by the Pittsburgh Pirates after his junior year and signed with the Pirates on June 5, 1998. He is the first pitcher drafted by the Pirates out of the Pittsburgh-based Duquesne University; he is the only pitcher to have made it to the Major Leagues.

His minor league stops in the Pirates organization included their development level team in Erie (1998, 1-4, 6.32, 6 starts), their "A" ball team in Hickory (1999, 5-11, 4.43, 22 starts), their "A+" team in Lynchburg (2000, 10-6, 3.36, 18 starts, 2 CGs), and their "AA" team in Altoona (1-6, 4.16, 10 starts, 1 CG).

After a strong spring, he made the Pirates Major League roster at the start of the 2001 season. He made his major league debut as the starting pitcher on April 8, 2001 against the Houston Astros, pitching 5 innings, allowing 2 runs, and recording his first career victory. He appeared as both a starter and a reliever that season, finishing with a record of 7–11, ERA of 5.23 in 42 appearances, 15 of them as a starter.

He made another 8 starts on the 2002 squad but has been primarily used as a relief pitcher ever since. After finishing both the 2002 & 2003 seasons in the Pirates bullpen as an average middle reliever, the Pirates released him right before the start of the 2004 season.

Minnesota Twins[edit]

He was subsequently signed as a free agent by the Minnesota Twins on April 11, 2004. He spent the bulk of the season with Minnesota's Class-AAA Minor League affiliate in Rochester, where he had a mediocre season (2-4, 6.97, in 49 appearances). He made just three relief appearances for the Twins as a September call-up and then was released after the season.

Tampa Bay Devil Rays[edit]

Beimel was signed as a free agent by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays on November 5, 2004 and spent most of the 2005 season with their "AAA" team the Durham Bulls, rebounding by going 1-2 with a 3.93 era in 48 games. He made a few trips to the big leagues to pitch for the Devil Rays during the season, making 7 appearances with an era of 3.27.

Los Angeles Dodgers[edit]

Beimel during his tenure with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

In 2006, he was signed by the Los Angeles Dodgers and became a valuable member of their relief corps, with a 2.96 era in 62 appearances, primarily as a late inning left-handed specialist. However, he has also been effective enough against right-handed batters to be used as both a set-up man and emergency closer, and proved remarkably effective when put into games to work the Dodgers out of jams. He wore #97 for the Dodgers, which at the time was the highest number ever used by a Dodger. The number represents the year of his first child's birth.[2]

His successful season ended on a down note; right before 2006 divisional series between the Dodgers and New York Mets began, Beimel cut his hand on glass at a bar in New York. At first he claimed that it happened in his hotel room before divulging the truth after the Dodgers lost to the Mets three games to none. His unavailability in the bullpen hurt the Dodgers during the series.[3] Beimel was completely sober for 15 months following the incident and now drinks only occasionally.[4]

During the 2007 season, Beimel set a record for the Dodgers by making 83 appearances, the most by a left-handed pitcher in the Dodgers history.

During his first two years with the Dodgers, Beimel became known for his ability to get Barry Bonds out. Beimel held Bonds to 1-16 at the plate, with the one hit being a solo home run. He also walked Bonds only three times.

After the arrival of new manager Joe Torre, Beimel was forced to cut his hair, a situation similar to one Stump Merrill had with now-Dodger coach Don Mattingly when managing the New York Yankees.[5]

Relationship with fans[edit]

Joe gained a cult following in 2008 in a series of fan-made YouTube videos,[6] specifically "The Legend of Joe Beimel."[7] Heavily promoted on Los Angeles Dodgers fan site Dodger Blues,[8] these videos have gained much notice on not only the internet, but in broadcasts and news media.

When the Dodgers conducted their second annual online fan vote during Spring Training to determine what player should be immortalized as part of the team's bobblehead promotions, Beimel took home the honors for 2008 after a strong Internet turnout, including a campaign that was orchestrated by his parents, Ron and Marge Beimel.[9]

Beimel (right) before the Nationals home opener in 2009.

Washington Nationals[edit]

On March 18, 2009, Beimel and the Washington Nationals agreed to a one-year $2 million deal; he became their eighth-inning set up man.[10]

Colorado Rockies[edit]

On July 31, 2009, Beimel was traded by the Nationals to the Colorado Rockies for Ryan Mattheus and Robinson Fabian.[11] He signed a minor league contract on March 22, 2010, and was brought up to the majors on April 15.

His entrance song is "God's Gonna Cut You Down" by Johnny Cash.

Return to Pittsburgh[edit]

On January 27, 2011, the Pittsburgh Pirates agreed to sign Beimel to a minor league contract. He began the season on the disabled list due to soreness in his forearm and elbow which he experienced midway through spring training. He spent the first weeks of season on rehab assignments with the Advance-A Bradenton Marauders and Triple-A Indianapolis Indians. The Pirates activated Beimel from the disabled list on April 15, 2011.[12]

On May 28, 2011, Beimel was placed on the 15-day disabled list with the same injury which put him on the shelf to begin the season. Daniel Moskos was recalled to take his place.[13] He was designated for assignment on August 23.[14] On August 30 he was released.

Texas Rangers[edit]

On February 6, 2012, Beimel signed a minor league deal with the Texas Rangers.[15] He was released on March 26. Beimel underwent Tommy John surgery on May 1, 2012 by Dr. James Andrews.

Seattle Mariners[edit]

Beimel signed a minor league deal with the Seattle Mariners on January 24, 2014. In first appearance with his new club before he ever threw a pitch he recorded an out by picking off David Freese at first base.

Personal life[edit]

Beimel has two children, Drew and Claire.[16][17] He wears #97 to represent the year of his first child's birth Drew.

References[edit]

External links[edit]