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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Beckham Chats From Chicago

Just got off the phone with Gordon Beckham, who was taking in a ballgame while celebrating his first contract. Here's the story...

Gordon Beckham spent Wednesday night at U.S. Cellular Field, watching the Chicago White Sox take on the Kansas City Royals.

He had toured the stadium, been introduced to superstars like Jim Thome and Ken Griffey Jr. and, oh yeah, he also signed his first professional contract.

"It's been an unbelievable day, it's very exciting," Beckham said from his seats at the stadium, a roar erupting from the crowd in the background.

Beckham was selected by the White Sox as the eighth overall pick in the June draft, but could not work out a deal with the team during the next two months. Major League Baseball requires all draft selections to have signed by Friday, however, so the push was on for Beckham and the White Sox to reach an agreement.

"It got to the point where I was ready to sign, and we found a number that was good for both sides," Beckham said.

Playing short stop for the Bulldogs last season, Beckham led Georgia to within one victory of winning the College World Series, hitting .583 with two home runs and five RBI in the series.

With a season of eligibility still left, he already held Georgia's all-time record for home runs with 53, earning first-team All-America status last season.

Negotiations with the White Sox were slow going, however, and some comments from Chicago general manager Kenny Williams had Bulldogs fans hoping Beckham would be back for his senior season. The short stop, however, was ready to get a deal done.

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