James Beckum, 83 years old and still very active

April 6, 2013

Beckum PhotoAt the ripe age of 83, James Beckum, one of the founders of the Beckum-Stapleton Little League began 49 years ago, is no stranger to the sport of baseball. Mr. Beckum’s baseball career started during the mid-fifties when he played baseball for the East St. Louis Giants. He was the team’s youngest player, along with his brother who played for the same team as catcher. Mr. Beckum also served in the military with the U.S. Marines Corps, for two years. On Monday, at the Milwaukee Brewers home opener, Mr. Beckum was honored to throw out the first pitch before a crowd of more than 40,000 sports enthusiasts. Asked how he felt, Mr. Beckum said: “It was exciting, especially for the youth” who accompanied him, Titus Brown, 12, and Paniya Stewart, 11. They are members of the Beckum-Stapleton Little League. Mr. Beckum also stated he has no plans to retire, although he thinks it’s time to do so. For the last five years, he’s been trying to do so. However, the love expressed by the youth toward him, he’s been convinced to continue doing what he has loved to do for 49 years. Summing up when he might retire, Mr. Beckum said: “As long as the Lord gives me strength, I will be here.” Mr. Beckum may never retire. Also pictured with Mr. Beckum, Titus and Paniya is Tom Pipines of WITI Fox 6 News Milwaukee.