After an early childhood in South Florida in which he suffered from severe asthma attacks, Al Rosen emerged as one of the most feared sluggers in baseball in the 1950‘s. A Golden Gloves boxer, the Cleveland Indians third baseman led the American League in homers with 37 in his 1950 rookie season and won the AL Most Valuable Player Award unanimously in 1953, the first player to do so since his boyhood idol, Hank Greenberg, in 1936.
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A tough, tenacious player, Rosen has generally been considered as one of the three top Jewish baseball players of all time, behind Hank Greenberg and Sandy Koufax. He retired because of lingering injuries after the 1956 season and eventually served as president of three major league teams -- the New York Yankees, Houston Astros and San Francisco Giants. WIth the Giants, he was named major league executive of the year in 1987, making him the only person in the game’s history to win that award for management and an MVP prize as a player.
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