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Greg Goossen: 1945-2011

Mar 1, 2011, 10:51 AM EDT

greg goossen mets card

Greg Goossen, who played six seasons in the majors for the Mets, Pilots, Brewers, and Senators, passed away Saturday at age 65.

Sadly, he was discovered in his home after failing to show up to the ceremony inducting him into the Notre Dame high school Hall of Fame.

Goossen’s obituary in the Los Angeles Times notes that he “worked as a private detective … dabbled as a boxing trainer, and was a stand-in for actor Gene Hackman in more than a dozen films” after his baseball career ended in 1970.

That’s quite an eclectic mix of activities and he also made a brief appearance as a character in Jim Bouton’s amazing book, Ball Four. Larry Stone of the Seattle Times recaps the short-but-amusing excerpt:

Bouton recalls a minor-league game he played against Goossen, a catcher in those days. A ball is bunted back to the pitcher, and Goossen came running out from behind the plate, screaming, “First base! First base!” The pitcher instead threw to second, and everyone was safe.

“As Goose walked back behind the plate, looking disgusted, I shouted at him from the dugout, ‘Goose, he had to consider the source.'”

When they are reunited as teammates in Seattle during spring training two years later, Goossen greets Bouton by saying, “Consider the source, huh?”


  1. antelope850 - Mar 1, 2011 at 12:23 PM

    I always loved that story about Goosen in Ball Four. Also, Casey Stengel supposedly once said of Goosen: “We’ve got a kid here, Goosen, 20 years old. And in 10 years, he’s got a chance to be 30.”


  2. Old Gator - Mar 1, 2011 at 1:09 PM

    I barely remember him; he wasn’t with the Mutts all that long but, given the years he served, I have to guess I saw him play once or twice. Another bit of my own youth chipped away. Dear Buddha, I’m beginning to look like Mt. Rushmore.

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