In Memory of Jim Beauchamp

Beauchamp, ex-Braves player and coach, dies
by Chris Vivlamore
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
December 28, 2007


(c) Houston Astros

Former Braves player and coach Jim Beauchamp died Tuesday — Christmas Day — after a long battle with acute myelogenous leukemia. He was 68.

Beauchamp was the bench coach for the Braves from 1991 to '98, a part of the team's World Series championship in 1995. He most recently served as supervisor of minor-league field operations for the organization.

Beauchamp spent 22 years with the Braves as part of a 50-year career in baseball, in both the major and minor leagues. He had to leave spring training with the Braves in mid-March and was diagnosed with leukemia soon after.

"He was always on me and riding me, but always wanting the best for me because he knew what I had. He was always trying to get the best out of me," Braves player Jeff Francoeur said in April after a hospital visit with Beauchamp.

Beauchamp, who was born Aug. 21, 1939 in Vinita, Okla., is believed to be the only player to wear an Atlanta uniform in Ponce de Leon Park (with the Atlanta Crackers), Atlanta Fulton-County Stadium and Turner Field (as a Braves player and coach).

"As a son, my fondest memory of him was how much he told us he loved us," son Kash Beauchamp said Thursday. "As tough as he was as a competitor and a baseball man, he had a very soft side when it came to being a father."

Beauchamp had a 10-year major league career, with several teams, and hit .231. He played for the Braves in 1965 and 1967, appearing in eight games.

He is survived by his wife, Pam, and five children: Kash, Tim, Ann Rene, Shanna and Lauren. He is also survived by six grandchildren; a sister, Patti Crockett; a sister-in-law, Kay Beauchamp; a stepmother, Lee Jean Beauchamp; and several nieces and nephews.

"My dad's motto was to put God first, family second and your job third. If you did that, everything would fall into place and good things would happen," Kash Beauchamp said. "And he lived that."

A memorial service will be held Jan. 5 at Southwest Christian Church, 4330 Washington Road, East Point, Ga., at 2 p.m. There will also be services held in Phenix City, Ala., and his hometown of Grove, Okla., where the high school baseball field is named in his honor, in the spring.

Staff writer Carroll Rogers contributed to this article.


Former Atlanta Braves coach Jim Beauchamp dies at age 68 of leukemia
Canadian Press
December 27, 2007

ATLANTA - Former major league player and longtime Atlanta Braves coach Jim Beauchamp has died of leukemia. He was 68.

"As a son, my fondest memory of him was how much he told us he loved us," Kash Beauchamp told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "As tough as he was as a competitor and a baseball man, he had a very soft side when it came to being a father."

A memorial service will be held Jan. 5 at Southwest Christian Church, said Brandon Roberts, a funeral director at Parrott Funeral Home in Fairburn, Ga. There will also be services in Phenix City, Ala., and Grove, Okla.

Beauchamp was the bench coach for the Braves between 1991 and 1998, during the team's transformation from a last-place team to a perennial contender. He was a part of the team's World Series championship in 1995 and most recently served as supervisor of the club's minor-league field operations.

Beauchamp spent 22 years with the Braves as part of a 50-year career in baseball in the major and minor leagues.

Beauchamp, who was born on Aug. 21, 1939 in Vinita, Okla., had a 10-year major league playing career as a first baseman and an outfielder with St Louis, Houston, Milwaukee, Atlanta, Cincinnati and the New York Mets, playing his final major league game for the Mets in 1973. His career batting average was .231, with 14 home runs.

Beauchamp, who died Tuesday, is survived by his wife and five children.


There was much more to Beauchamp than just his hot temper
by Mike Whiteford
Charleston (WV) Gazette
January 5, 2008

He would often burst from the Watt Powell Park dugout, charge onto the field and confront an umpire. Those moments were highly entertaining and are now part of our city’s baseball lore, but let’s not remember manager Jim Beauchamp solely for those fits of anger.

Beauchamp, who died in Atlanta last week at age 68, was a sound baseball man and a likeable fellow who seemed destined to move on to a Major League managerial job, but his temper, rough exterior and reluctance to adopt political correctness probably denied him that opportunity.

He managed the Charleston Charlies of the Class AAA International League from 1977 through 1979 — a lengthy stay by minor-league standards — and spent 50 years in professional baseball as a player, manager, coach and advisor.

When arguing with an umpire, his body language gave him a colorful distinction and enlivened those summer nights at Watt Powell at a time when, despite the high level of play and a wealth of budding big-league talent, crowds often numbered no more than 500.

Standing face-to-face with an ump, Beauchamp would express his disagreement while violently jerking his head side-to-side instead of the traditional forward-and-backward motion. He admitted that he once injured his neck in an argument with an umpire.

His style of arguing was distinctive for more than just body language, of course. In a booming voice audible throughout the ballpark, he would tell an umpire, “You’re horse manure!’’ or something to that effect. From the dugout, he would assess an umpire’s ball-strike work and shout, “That’s [bleeping] terrible!’’

Beauchamp’s 10-year playing career as a marginal big-league outfielder-first baseman served as ideal preparation for Class AAA managing. Because he had constantly bounced between the majors and minors, he understood the frustrations of AAA players who found themselves in similar situations.

He knew all about the emotional roller coaster of playing in the big leagues one day and playing in Charleston literally the next, and he would sympathize — briefly — with a player who was bummed out by his demotion to the Charlies. One of his players, who had just been sent from the Houston Astros to the Charlies, expressed his unhappiness upon his arrival in Charleston: “This is the worst-lookin’ town I’ve ever seen.’’

Beauchamp understood that kind of attitude and would cut his players some slack — but he expected them to make the adjustment and produce. If not, they might suffer the same wrath as umpires.

But not all of his assaults on umpires stemmed from anger. He was quite a psychologist and, sitting in his Watt Powell Park office one day, he explained that Class AAA ballplayers often grow bored, especially those who are a phone call away from Major League money and prestige. For less talented players with little hope of reaching the big leagues, minor-league life can be drudgery. And keep in mind that schedules in those days often called for three weeks of games without a day off.

To stir things up, he would sometimes look for an excuse to burst from the dugout, not only to break the monotony but also to show the players he cared. And maybe he knew the fans enjoyed it, too.

But it’s safe to say his anger was the real thing on that memorable occasion when he challenged the entire Richmond Braves team. As the Charlies and Braves exchanged verbal jabs and the hostilities began to heat up, Beauchamp charged into the Braves dugout and made himself available for some fisticuffs. He found no takers.

When asked about it later, he explained. “They wanted a piece of my ass, and I was gonna give it to ’em,’’ he said.

Beauchamp’s anger was not limited to players and umpires. As a beat writer in those days, I stood by and listened on two separate occasions as he berated me for something I had written. On countless other occasions, however, he treated me with respect and gave me a good education in baseball.

His rants against umpires, players and sportswriters were never personal, and he never seemed to hold grudges. He simply needed to deliver a strong message, and he did so in the tradition of a fiery baseball man.

Once, after chewing me out and sounding as if he wanted to do bodily harm, he calmly said, “I’ll see you tomorrow and everything will be back to normal.’’

He was that kind of guy and, we should assume, he extended the same courtesy to umpires.