One of the most lasting visuals of the Marlins’ 2003 World Series championship is of pitcher Josh Beckett being carried off the field, the ball from the final out tucked safely into his glove.
Jack McKeon, the Marlins manager who put Beckett into that Game 6 at Yankee Stadium on three days’ rest, said it’s one of his most treasured memories in a career full of them.
“If there was one guy I trusted to go on three days’ rest, it was him,” McKeon said just before the Marlins honored Beckett before Sunday’s game against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Beckett pitched a complete game that night in the Marlins’ 2-0 victory in Game 6, getting the final out by fielding Jorge Posada’s grounder and tagging him as he passed on his way to first base.
On Sunday, the Marlins gave out replica 2003 championship rings to fans and had a brief ceremony on the infield.
Aside from McKeon and Beckett, former players Mike Lowell, Juan Pierre, Ivan Rodriguez and Alex Gonzalez were on hand for Sunday’s game.
Beckett threw out the ceremonial first pitch — naturally, to Rodriguez.
“It all came together at Yankee Stadium, but it started earlier,” said Beckett, who retired after last season because of various injuries after 14 seasons.
“We had a different group of guys than I saw the rest of my career.”
Beckett spent parts of five seasons with the Marlins before being traded to Boston along with Lowell for prospects, which included Hanley Ramirez and Anibal Sanchez.
Beckett tossed a no-hitter for the Dodgers last season but said he has enjoyed retirement in his native Texas.
Slugger Giancarlo Stanton had surgery to repair the broken hamate in his left wrist on Sunday morning. Stanton is expected to miss four to six weeks.
He was injured while in the process of striking out in the sixth inning of Friday night’s loss to the Dodgers.
“Now you just go through the healing process,” manager Dan Jennings said.
▪ Jose Fernandez had his final rehab start for Double A Jacksonville on Saturday, giving up four runs on six hits in five innings.
On Thursday, Fernandez will make his first start for the Marlins since he had Tommy John surgery last May.
Fernandez made five rehab appearances for Single A Jupiter and Jacksonville, going 1-2 with a 4.01 ERA.
“The best thing will be to pencil his name in the lineup and have him ready to go,” Jennings said.
“I tip my hat to the kid for the effort he gave on this rehab. In 31 years, I’ve never seen anyone go about it harder.”
▪ Monday: Off day.
▪ Tuesday: Marlins RHP Mat Latos (2-5, 5.49 ERA) vs. San Francisco Giants RHP Ryan Vogelsong (6-5, 4.05), 7:10 p.m., Marlins Park.