Jim Gosger

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James Charles Gosger

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Biographical Information[edit]

Jim Gosger was a scrappy, hustling little guy who toiled with the Boston Red Sox, Kansas City Athletics and the Montreal Expos among others. He played all three outfield positions, mostly CF.

He was an original member of the Seattle Pilots, made slightly infamous by Jim Bouton in the book Ball Four for muttering the words "Yeah, Sure". He started both the first game in the history of the Oakland Athletics in 1968 and the first played by the Pilots in 1969. He was also the last batter who ever faced the great Satchel Paige in the major leagues, when the Hall of Famer made a one-off start for the Athletics on September 25, 1965, at age 58; Gosger was the lead-off hitter for the Red Sox in that game, and made an out to end the 3rd inning. Paige then left the game with a 1-0 lead.

He spent the entire 1963 season in the major leagues with the Red Sox, but hardly played, as a result of the bonus rule in effect at the time. He played just 19 games and went 1 for 16. He had just one season of professional experience at the time, having spent 1963 in the Carolina League with the Winston-Salem Red Sox, where he hit 19 homers. The Red Sox had to keep him the majors or risk losing him through the first-year player draft.

He was on both the 1969 and 1973 World Series-reaching New York Mets. In between, he was shuttled around a few times. It is said that his World Series share for spending a few days on the '69 Mets was the smallest ever voted to a player.

He appears on his 1970 Topps baseball card as a member of the San Francisco Giants and he looks great in that uniform. Trouble is, he never played a game as a Giant. The Mets had sent him to San Francisco in the Ray Sadecki acquisition, but he was sold to the Expos just two weeks into the 1970 season, without playing for the Giants outside of spring training.

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