This Sunday’s New York Times had an article about the death of Greg Goossen, a baseball player I confess I had not heard of before. What caught my attention was that he was originally signed by the Los Angeles Dodgers for a six figure bonus, was then sent to the Mets for $8,000 and then acquired by the Seattle Goossen Pilots. He lasted one season and was dealt to Milwaukee. The Pilots no longer exist but Goossen led the team in batting that year with a .309 average. The rest of his playing story is down hill from there.

Goossen played for 37 teams in the minor, Mexican and major leagues over eight years as a catcher, first baseman and out fielder. He was 6 feet 1 inch and 205 pounds. His lifetime average was .241 and after eight years on 37 teams he retired in 1971.

He was born in Los Angeles in 1945 into a family of ten children. The family ran a business of promoting, training and managing prizefighters. He met the actor Gene Hackman who came there to learn boxing movcs for a movie. After baseball he worked in different areas including a a movie extra. Hackman insisted that Goossen be his stand-in and bodyguard plus have minor parts in his films.

Goossen died February 26th at age 65.


  1. Ahhh… But that’s where you are mistaken… Greg Goossen’s life, went uphill from his baseball days. He had three daughters… Erin Lynn (1969) Kimberly Ann (1972) and Tracey Noelle (1973)… 4 grandchildren Taylor, Cody, Brandon and Reese. He was a phenominal father and an extraordinary grandfather. His oldest grandson, a freshman in college… Cody Gregory Howard, who wears his grandpa’s jersey #10 and is a 6’5 lefty starting pitcher… He is exactly like my dad, a great kid with a great heart. I guess there was a reason he was named after his pa-pa… We all love and miss him dearly.

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