Born: February 29, 1924 in Spartanburg, S.C.
Debut: 1947 | Pos: 3B
H: 5'10.5" | W: 180 | B: R | T: R
>> Visit the Al Rosen biography on Baseball Almanac for complete statistics.
Al "Flip" Rosen announced his presence in baseball in a rather loud and convincing way during his rookie season in 1950 with the Cleveland Indians.
Rosen, who had appeared in 35 games with the Indians from 1947-49, hit 37 home runs during his rookie season in 1950. It was enough to set an American League rookie record and to lead the AL in home runs in 1950. In addition to his 37 home runs in 1950, Rosen drove in 116 runs and stole five bases.
An amateur boxer, Rosen earned a reputation for being a fighter on the field and ended up with 11 broken noses to prove it.
In 1951, he hit 24 HR and had 102 RBI. In 1952, he led the American League with 105 RBI and also hit 25 home runs. Rosen became the first player to lead the American League in runs batted in, but not finish in the top five in home runs, since Goose Goslin accomplished the feat in 1924.
In spring training in 1952, Rosen drew the ire of Giants fans who thought the third baseman faked a tag to force Monte Irvin into a slide. Irvin broke his ankle on the play and was out for most of the season.
His most productive season in baseball came in 1953 with he won the American League MVP honor by an unanimous vote. Rosen led the league with 43 HR and 145 RBI. He just missed the Triple Crown when he failed to run out a ground ball in his last at-bat of the season and finished second in the AL in batting average. It was simply one of the most productive seasons ever by a Major League third baseman.
In 1954, Rosen played for the American League in the All-Star Game and captured MVP honors when he became one of only six players in history to hit two home runs in a single All-Star Game.
Rosen announced his retirement following the 1956 season at the age of 32. Sources say his retirement came from nagging whiplash he had suffered in an automobile accident. Others say that he had grown tired of the booing of the Cleveland fans.
Whatever the reason, Rosen left sports to become a stockbroker. He returned 20 years later to serve in a number of front office positions including serving as president of the Yankees, the Astros and then the Giants.