More Goossen VI: How much did he fit into the Dodgers’ and Mets’ plans back in the mid ’60s?

The Dodgers were the ones who drafted Greg Goossen out of their own backyard — Notre Dame High in Sherman Oaks — after the Houston Colt .45s had their eye on him. That was, until Goossen blew out his knee getting in a fight.

This is from a Sports Illustrated story by William Leggett published on March 29, 1965 (linked here) — the cover is all about UCLA’s victory in the NCAA basketball tournament, with Gail Goodrich on the cover:

i-f9545fa1882cea5b1b0d917cfa05be14-0329_large.jpg

Now, this year, as the chastened Dodgers of 1965 work their way through their spring-training exhibition schedule, they are the most drastically changed team in the major leagues, baseball’s “mystery a go-go.” True, the 11 players remaining of the baker’s dozen who knocked off the Yankees in the World Series are still the Dodgers’ big names: Koufax, Drysdale, Maury Wills, the Davises–that crowd. But big Frank Howard is gone, traded to Washington, and Jim Gilliam has retired to the coaching lines, maybe. The perfect relief pitcher, Ron Perranoski, lost his magic last year, and Johnny Podres was ailing so badly that he pitched only three innings all season. Tommy Davis’ batting average dropped 51 points. The old baker’s dozen needs help badly, and the Dodgers expect it to come from people you have seldom, if ever, heard of–Wes Parker, Jim Lefebvre, Bart Shirley, John Purdin, Willie Crawford, Tommy Dean, John Werhas, Al Ferrara, Derrell Griffith, Hector Valle, Greg Goossen, Howie Reed, Bill Singer. The Dodger roster is loaded with youthful nonentities. Seventeen of them are 23 or younger, five are 19, two are 18. Twice in recent weeks this infusion of youth has totally confused even the Dodgers themselves.

i-4c996e393ea51f6dc53f382e0632b8f2-2e25_1.jpg

Goossen was plucked off the Dodgers’ roster by the New York Mets less than two weeks after this story was printed. And Crawford ended up wearing the No. 27 that was issued to him in spring training.

So, this is from a Sports Illustrated 1966 baseball preview (linked here), on the upcoming New York Mets’ season:

The Mets hope that their No. 1 catcher someday soon will turn out to be a stocky fellow with blond curly hair named Greg Goossen — and he can’t vote, either. The unlikely situation of a 20-year-old kid catching regularly for a major league team had its origin when Westrum, then a Met coach, spied Goossen romping for a Los Angeles Dodgers’ rookie team. When the Dodgers failed to protect Goossen from the player draft, the Mets grabbed him. A year at Auburn, N.Y. is not much of an apprenticeship, but when the young catcher hit .305 there with 24 home runs, the temptation to rush him along was irresistible, for if there is one thing the Mets need most, it’s a catcher. Unfortunately, Goossen showed little this spring and the Mets still need help behind the plate.

== A 1974 SI story plucked a quote that former Mets manager Casey Stengel once said about Goossen (sort of) (linked here)

== In 1996, by the way, SI’s Frank Lintz caught up with Goossen to write about his connection with actor Gene Hackman, and relay a few stories from his career (linked here).

A list of all the transactions related to Goossen in the big leagues:
== June 1, 1964: Signed as an amateur free agent by the Dodgers
== April 9, 1965: Claimed on first-year waivers by New York Mets from the Dodgers
== Feb. 5, 1969: Traded by New York Mets with cash to Seattle Pilots in exchange for a player to be named later (it was Jim Gosger on July 14, 1969).
== July 14, 1970: Sold by Milwaukee Brewers to Washington Senators
== Nov. 3, 1970: Traded by Washington Senators with Jeff Terpko and Gene Martin to Philadelphia Phillies in exchange for Curt Flood and a player to be named later (it was Jeff Terpko)

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email