August 28, 1912|
|Died: April 6, 1994
|September 14, 1937, for the Brooklyn Dodgers|
|Last MLB appearance|
|September 26, 1946, for the New York Giants|
|Runs batted in||197|
|Career highlights and awards|
Goodwin George "Goody" Rosen (August 28, 1912 – April 6, 1994) was a Canadian center fielder in Major League Baseball. From 1937 to 1946, Rosen played outfield for the Brooklyn Dodgers (1937–39, 1944–46) and New York Giants (1946). He batted and threw left handed.
Born in Toronto to Russian Jewish immigrants, Rosen played in the city's playground leagues—including two years with the Elizabeth Playground team under Bob Abate—and attended Parkdale Collegiate Institute. His older brother Jake was a boxer who fought out of New York and Chicago in the 1920s under the name Johnny Rosen. Another brother, Willie, had a tryout with the Syracuse Chiefs in 1941. As a teenager, Rosen was a top player in Toronto's Jewish Fraternal Softball League. Rosen drove to Tampa, Florida, to try out with some minor league professional baseball teams, but he was told he was too small (5 ft 9 in) and returned to Toronto to play for the St. Mary's senior team.
Rosen turned professional in 1931, signing a contract with the Rochester Red Wings of the International League, but did not stick with the team. In 1933, he joined the Louisville Colonels of the American Association and played under manager Burleigh Grimes. When Grimes joined the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1937, he convinced the team to acquire Rosen in August for $10,000 ($167,000 today) and a player. Rosen hit .312 in 22 games with the Dodgers. In 1938, his first full season, he hit .281, finishing sixth in the National League in triples (11), leading all league outfielders in fielding percentage (.989) and assists (19). The next season, he split his time between the Dodgers and their Triple-A International League affiliate, the Montreal Royals.
He then joined the Syracuse Chiefs of the International League, playing there from 1940 until being re-acquired by the Dodgers during the 1944 season.
With the Dodgers, he enjoyed the best year of his career in 1945, finishing 10th in voting for Most Valuable Player Award with a .325 batting average (3rd in NL), 197 hits (2nd), 126 runs (2nd), 11 triples (3rd), 606 at bats (6th) and a .460 slugging percentage (6th), a .379 on-base percentage (9th), 14 sacrifice hits (10th), 12 home runs and 19 outfield assists.
In that season, he also had the distinction of being the first Canadian-born major leaguer to be named to the All-Star Game.
Three games into the 1946 season, Rosen was traded to the Dodgers' cross-town rivals, the New York Giants. It would be his last year in the major leagues. Before the end of the season, he was sent down to the Jersey City Giants of the International League.
Rosen rejected an offer from Jersey City to return in 1947 and said he would only continue to play if he were sent to Toronto, where he had opened a restaurant. The deal was made, and Rosen played for the Toronto Maple Leafs of the International League in 1947. After a poor season, he was given an unconditional release, ending his professional baseball career.
Toronto softball, Ontario baseball
In 1948, Rosen switched to softball, playing for the Daltons in the Toronto Ki-Y (Kiwanis-YMCA) senior league and then joining the Levys in the Beaches Fastball League, winning the league championship in 1949. Gooden started the 1950 season playing for the world champion Tip Top Tailors team in the Beaches league but then returned to baseball as player-manager of the Galt Terriers of the Intercounty Baseball League. He was named manager of the Ontario all-star team that played the Maple Leafs in an exhibition game in August. Rosen returned to softball and the Beaches league in 1951, playing for Peoples Credit Jewellers, then officially retired.
After his retirement he owned and ran the Dunsway Restaurant in Toronto at Bloor and Dundas Streets for a time. He was also a business executive with a major Canadian brewery, John Labatt Limited, in their sales staff and was still so popular in baseball circles he was answering around 2,000 pieces of fan mail annually in his later years. He died in Toronto's Sunnybrook Hospital on April 6, 1994, at age 81.
His .291 career batting average is eighth-best of all Jewish major leaguers (directly behind Ron Blomberg), through 2010. Rosen said that his "proudest accomplishment was being the only Jewish Canadian ever to play in the majors." He held that distinction for almost 70 years as it was not until 2005 the major leagues saw another Jewish Canadian when London, Ontario-born Adam Stern suited up for the Boston Red Sox.
- "Goody finds own hot stove league is stirring business", Toronto Star, January 10, 1947, p. 14
- "They've parted", Toronto Star, February 26, 1948, p. 24
- Jim, Proudfoot (April 7, 1994). "Goody Rosen jumped from Toronto sandlots to the major leagues". The Toronto Star. Toronto: Torstar. p. F5. Retrieved June 28, 2010.
- "Jewish Major Leaguers career batting leaders". Jewishmajorleaguers.org. Retrieved January 23, 2011.
- Van Blair, Rick (1994). Dugout to Foxhole: Interviews with Baseball Players Whose Careers Were Affected by World War II. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company Publishers.