Goose Goslin

Although the sweet-hitting Goslin played for the usually mediocre Senators (in three separate tours) and Browns for much of his career, he managed to squeeze his way into five World Series, making the most of each appearance. In the 1924 Series, the Senators won their first and only world title, with Goslin batting .344 and contributing three HR and seven RBI. The following year he hit another three HR, although the Senators lost to Pittsburgh. After a subpar Series in 1933 back with the Senators, he drove in the winning run in Game Two of the 1934 Series for his new team, the Tigers, who lost to the Cardinals in seven games. The Tigers beat the Cubs in six games in 1935, thanks to Goslin’s game-winning RBI single in the bottom of the ninth of the final game.

Clark Griffith almost didn’t sign the powerful left fielder. When Griffith went to scout him in a Sally League game in South Carolina, Goslin managed to get hit on the head by a fly ball. But he also hit three HR in the game. Goslin’s career was true to that good-hit, no-field pattern. Opposing players often described the arm-waving Goslin chasing a fly ball as a bird with wings flapping, giving further meaning to his nickname. As a young player, one defensive asset was a strong arm, but he ruined even that during one spring training with an ill-advised attempt to learn to put the shot.

Between 1924 and 1928, Goslin’s lowest average was .334, yet his only batting title came in a rather unusual finish in 1928. He was tied with Heinie Manush on the last day of the season, and coincidentally, the Senators were playing Manush’s Browns. Goslin went into his last at-bat leading Manush, but didn’t want to bat for fear of making an out and losing the precarious lead. His teammates goaded him to bat. Goslin then tried to get himself thrown out of the game. He ended up with an infield hit and the batting title, having gone 7 for his final 15 to bat .379. Goslin would later join Manush in St. Louis for the 1930 through 1932 seasons.

Goslin was also responsible for the first fine levied against an umpire. In the 1935 fall classic, Goslin got into a heated discussion with Hall of Fame arbiter Bill Klem, during which Klem lost his temper and used what Goslin later described as “overripe language.” Commissioner Landis then fined Klem, not Goslin.

Goslin spent his final years running a boat-rental concession in Bridgeton, New Jersey, his native state, and died just three days after his 1928 batting rival Manush.