SportsTime Ohio will air Beating the Odds: The Al Rosen Story, premiering Thursday, March 13th at 3:00pm. This hour-long documentary profiles the life and baseball career of Cleveland Indians legend, four-time All-Star and 1953 American League MVP Al Rosen.
In the special, Rosen, a one-time collegiate and Golden Gloves boxer, pulls no punches in interviews conducted with the film's writer and producer, Bill Levy, a former baseball writer and now a film producer in Cleveland. A tough, tenacious player, Rosen has generally been considered as one of the three top Jewish baseball players of all time, behind Sandy Koufax and his boyhood idol, Hank Greenberg. The "Hebrew Hammer," as he was known, addresses the anti-Semitism he faced in the minors and then the majors. He also talks of Elmer Yoter, a manager in the Boston Red Sox minor-league system, insisting that Rosen would never make it in baseball. Yoter told a 17-year-old Rosen to "Go get a lunch pail. You'll never make it in this game."
Instead, the Indians third baseman led the American League in homers with 37 in his 1950 rookie season and emerged as one of the most feared sluggers in baseball in the 1950's. Rosen won the AL Most Valuable Player Award unanimously in 1953, the first player to do so since Greenberg, in 1936.
He retired due to 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. He was named major league executive of the year with the Giants 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.
Tune in this Thursday, March 13th at 3:00pm for Beating the Odds: The Al Rosen Story. The documentary will also replay on SportsTime Ohio. Check local listings.