Goose Goslin

Position: Outfielder
Teams: Washington Senators, 1921-1930, 1933, 1938; St. Louis Browns, 1930-1932; Detroit Tigers, 1934-1937

Goose Goslin was the only American Leaguer between 1921 and 1939 who was on five pennant-winning teams despite never playing for the Yankees or under Connie Mack.

In 1925, Goslin the Washington Senators in every batting department and placed high among the loop's leaders as well.
In 1925, Goslin led the AL-champion
Washington Senators in every
major batting department
and placed high among the
loop's leaders as well.

Nicknamed Goose both because of his last name and because of his large nose, Leon Allen Goslin (1900-1971) grew up on a small farm in Salem, New Jersey. Originally a pitcher, he was converted to the outfield when his first professional manager thought that Goose’s bat had more promise than his arm.

While leading the Sally League in hitting during his second season in the loop, Goslin was purchased by Washington for $6,000. A successful trial at the end of the 1921 campaign gave Goose hope of winning a regular job the following year, but he injured his arm while heaving a shotput during spring training prior to the 1922 season and was never again able to throw with his old ability. Mediocre defen­sively even before the injury, Goslin had to work hard to become a competent outfielder.

Goose quickly emerged as a standout slugger. In 1923, he led the AL in triples. A year later, he was the loop’s RBI king. His 129 ribbies prevented the Babe from winning a Triple Crown.

Playing in Washington, Goslin had no hope of ever winning a Triple Crown himself. The outfield fences in Griffith Stadium were so distant that no Washington player won a home run crown until the 1950s, when changes were made in the park’s contours. Goslin hit 17 homers on the road in 1926 and none on his home soil.

The Senators in those years were good enough to win without the long ball, however, taking back-to-back pennants in 1924 and 1925. When a drought followed, Goslin was dealt to the Browns early in the 1930 season only a year and one-half after he won the AL batting title. Washington owner Clark Griffith almost immediately regretted having let Goose go and worked for two years to get him back.

Reobtained on December 14, 1932, in a six-player trade, Goslin helped the Senators to win their third and last pennant the following summer. Unable to pay Goose what he was worth, the Depression-handicapped Griffith then swapped him to Detroit.

Goslin played on flag winners in each of his first two seasons in the Motor City and produced the hit in the 1935 World Series that brought the Tigers their first world championship. Goose was selected to the Hall of Fame in 1968.

Here are Goose Goslin's major league totals:


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