Rod Beaton

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Rod Beaton

#1 Post by da_big_kid_94 » June 24th, 2011, 1:08 pm

I just discovered the passing this week of one of the pioneers in reporting baseball in USA Today - Rod "Seldom" Beaton at age 59. When all of this foolishness started, us old timers remember Beaton was one of the few MUST reads for our little hobby (and my how it's grown) - those AL and NL notes were crucial in helping us make decisions and garner insight. Thank you for your contribution, Mr. Beaton - you helped us all more than many will ever know.
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Todd Zola
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Re: Rod Beaton

#2 Post by Todd Zola » June 24th, 2011, 1:15 pm

My friend Greg Ambrosius wrote this about his friend Rod Beaton on the NFBC forum earlier this week:

I'm sad to hear today that former USA Today MLB beat writer Rod Beaton passed away at the age of 59. Rod was battling some serious health problems the last 5 years or so and passed away today. Our thoughts and prayers go out to him, his very nice wife and their family.

Rod was the very first person I ever hired to write for Fantasy Sports Magazine. He was EXACTLY what I was looking for when we started our magazine in the winter of 1989. We were just an idea at the time and three of us from Krause Publications went to the Baseball Winter Meetings in 1989 at the OpryLand hotel in Nashville, Tennessee. We created some beautiful four-color flyers with the new cover of Fantasy Baseball Magazine and details of what this new magazine was going to be on the back. I was there to find free-lance writers and I got a pass into the press room and was there to talk with anyone who was interested.

MLB was very territorial at that time, though, and they didn't want any solicitations in the press room for products that weren't their own. Each time I put out the flyers on a table in the press room, someone from MLB came over to scoop them up and throw them in the garbage. I didn't have all that many of those flyers, so I dug in the garbage to get them out and put them on a different table. This happened over and over for three days and on the final day I saw one guy really reading it over.

I went up to him and introduced myself and asked his name. Sure enough it was Rod Beaton of USA Today. I told him what we were trying to do and he reached in his back left pocket and pulled out his wallet. Inside he had a crinkled yellow piece of paper with his fantasy team on it. He told me all about his keeper league, the players he kept, the prospects he had on his farm team, the whole nine yards. He was the perfect guy for us and he introduced me to all kinds of other beat writers. He also introduced me to Larry Weisman of USA Today, who became our fantasy football columnist. Rod really helped us get the magazine off the ground.

I would see him each year at the Baseball Winter Meetings and I could call him anytime to talk. He was the best and his wife often came to the Winter Meetings with him. She liked the extra cash he was making with us!! He left USA Today several years ago as things were changing fast there and his health took him off the regular NL beat, but I believe he did return. Anyway, I hadn't seen Rod for probably a decade or so and I'm sad to see him leave this earth so soon. He was a walking baseball encyclopedia and a man who really was good for USA Today during those early years of print. Just a very, very good writer with a lot of baseball knowledge.

You left the diamond too soon my friend. You will be missed.
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