OTD (On This Day) in 1954, the MLB All-Star Game sets a then All-Star record for a total 6 home runs between the two teams and another then record for 20 combined runs as the American League beats the National League 11-9. South Carolina native Al Rosen accounts for 2 of the home runs for the AL team. Rosen was also playing in the ’54 All-Star Game with a broken finger. Rosen became just the 3rd player to hit 2 HRs in an All-Star Game, hitting a 3-run HR off Robin Roberts in the in the 3rd and a 2-run HR off Johnny Antonelli in the 5th. Rosen finished the game going 3-for-4 with 5 RBI and a walk.
Al Rosen was born in Spartanburg, SC but his family moved to Miami, FL shortly after his birth due to baby Albert’s asthma. Overcoming the struggles of asthma, Rosen played sports as a kid and eventually grew out of his asthma problems. After enrolling into the University of Florida in latter part of 1941, Rosen would leave school in 1942, at age 18, to play professional baseball signing with the Cleveland Indians and making $90/month playing Third Base for the Class D Thomasville Tommies of the North Carolina State League. In Thomasville, Rosen would hit .307 with 7 HR in 86 games before joining the Navy as the United States became more involved in World War II. During the war, Rosen was a navigator on an assault boat on the initial landing on Okinawa during the battle for the island. Rosen left the Navy in 1946 and returned to baseball and the Cleveland Indians.
After several more seasons in the minor leagues, Rosen played his first full season in the Majors in 1950 at the age of 26. Rosen’s 10-year career in the Major Leagues, all with the Indians, included 4 All-Star selections, a World Series ring in 1948, and a unanimous AL MVP award in 1953 for hitting .336 with 43 HR and 145 RBI. Rosen retired from playing baseball at age 32 in 1956. In 1978 George Stienbrenner recruited Rosen to become the Yankees President and Chief Operating Officer, a position he held for a year-and-a-half before fleeing the volatile front office that was Stienbrenner and Billy Martin. Rosen would go on to become a successful General Manger for the Houston Astros and San Francisco Giants from 1980-1992 reaching the playoffs four times, including the 1989 World Series with the Giants.