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Al "Flip" Rosen

(1924 - )

Albert Leonard "Flip" Rosen is a Jewish American former professional baseball player and the first to go by the nickname "Hebrew Hammer."

Rosen (born February 29, 1924) was born in South Carolina and grew up in Miami, Florida. After graduating from Florida Military Academy, Rosen enrolled in the University of Florida where he played for the baseball team in 1941-42. He left the university after his second semester to play minor league baseball.

Rosen enlisted in 1942 and spent 4 years in the Navy fighting in the Pacific during World War II. He navigated an assault boat in the initial landing on Okinawa. In 1946, he left the Navy as a lieutenant and returned to his emerging baseball career.

In 1946, Rosen player for the Pittsfield Electrics and upon leading the Canadian-American Leauge in home runs he became known as the "Hebrew Hammer." In 1947, he made his first appearance in the major leagues and finally became a mainstay in a major league lineup in 1950 with the Cleveland Indians. He led the American League in RBIs in l952 and l953. In 1953, he was Major League Baseball's first-ever unanimous selection as Most Valuable Player.

Rosen was AL homerun champion twice. In l950, he hammered 37 round-trippers, and was the first AL rookie to win the homerun title. He won the AL homerun title again in 1953 with 43--just missing the Triple Crown when his .336 batting average fell .0011 short of winning the American League batting title.

Persistent injuries forced Rosen's premature retirement following the 1956 season. During his playing career, Rosen refused to play on the Jewish High Holidays and through 2010 ranked fourth in home runs and sixth in RBI among all-time Jewish baseball players.

In 1978, Rosen served for one season as the President/CEO of the New York Yankees and then filled the same position for the Houston Astros from 1980 to 1985 and was the general manager of the San Francisco Giants from 1985 to 1992.

Rosen's first wife, Teresa Ann Blumberg, died in 1971. He remarried Ria Kallman. Rosen has three sons and two step-children.

Rosen died on March 13, 2015, in Rancho Mirage, California.

Sources: International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame; Wikipedia