After Hank Greenberg and Sandy Koufax, a case can be made that Rosen is the next greatest Jewish baseball player. He was on his way to a Hall of Fame career before injuries derailed him. A third-baseman for Cleveland, Rosen burst on to the scene in 1950, hitting .287 with 37 homers and 116 RBIs. It was the first of four straight 100-plus RBI seasons. In 1951, he tied a Major League record with 4 grand slams. Rosen made his first All-Star team appearance in 1952. That set the stage for 1953. His numbers were astounding: .336 batting average with 43 homers and 145 RBIs. If he had beat out a grounder on the last game of the season, he would have won the Triple Crown. As it was, Rosen became the first player to be unanimously elected American League MVP. Bill James says it was the best season ever compiled by a third-baseman. Rosen appeared to be at the peak of his career. However, he suffered an injury to his hand in 1954, which robbed him of his effectiveness at the plate. He also got into a salary dispute with Hank Greenberg, his good friend and Cleveland GM. It led to Rosen retiring after the 1956 season at the age of 32. After a successful business career on Wall Street, Rosen returned to baseball as the president of the Yankees and then general manager in Houston and San Francisco. Rosen once told USA Today: “I worked hard at it. I wasn’t as talented as many. I didn’t have a long career, but I thought I had a good career.”
Did you know? In 1987, Rosen was named the MLB Executive of the Year as general manager of the Giants.