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Baseball Notes: Al Rosen dies; Indians star was AL's '53 MVP

Al Rosen, 91, the muscular third baseman who was the 1953 AL MVP and played on the last Cleveland Indians team to win the World Series, has died.

Al Rosen, 91, the muscular third baseman who was the 1953 AL MVP and played on the last Cleveland Indians team to win the World Series, has died.

The Indians said Rosen died Friday night. The team provided no other details.

Rosen played his entire career with Cleveland, from 1947 through 1956. He was a member of the Indians' 1948 World Series championship team. He played only five games that season and got one at-bat in the World Series victory over the Boston Braves.

In 1953, Rosen batted .336 with 43 homers and 145 RBIs. He nearly won the Triple Crown, but was beaten out for the batting title by Washington's Mickey Vernon, who hit .337. Rosen was unanimously picked as the AL's top player.

A four-time all-star, Rosen drove in 100 runs in five straight seasons.

Rosen was one of the few Jewish big-leaguers at the time. He was tough and felt the sting of anti-Semitism. Once an amateur boxer, Rosen could put his fists to good use for any slurs sent his way. It was not for nothing that he was known as the "Hebrew Hammer."

After his playing career, Rosen became a successful front-office executive. He worked for Houston, San Francisco, and the New York Yankees.

Rosen worked for the Giants from 1985 to 1992 as president and general manager. Through some of his moves, the club went from last place in 1985 to the NL West title in 1987 and the pennant in 1989. Rosen is the only person in baseball history to be MVP and executive of the year.

"We will miss him and always remember him as part of our very important Giants family," said Larry Baer, the Giants' president and chief executive officer.

Ferrell gets bad review

Former football coaching great and commentator John Madden is feeling prickly about actor Will Ferrell's Cactus League tour on Thursday.

Ferrell played for 10 teams in five spring exhibitions on one day in a stunt to raise money to fight cancer. The Angels and Dodgers were among the teams Ferrell suited up for as he drew laughs from players and fans.

Madden was not amused.

"I hate it. That's a lack of respect," Madden told KPIX-TV in San Francisco. "That's a lack of respect for the game and a lack of respect for what players have to do."

Madden, 78, talked about how he told his players to treat Rick Barry when the former Golden State Warriors star asked about suiting up to practice with the Oakland Raiders in the 1970s.

"He was a friend of Al Davis' and he said he was going to go in and suit up and go out on the field and practice, to fool Al," Madden said. "Jack Tatum and George Atkinson walked by and I said, 'Look, if this guy comes out on the field, he's live bait, and I want you to go after him the way you would go after any other player that plays on another team.'

"I said, 'Go ahead and dress, but we're going to treat you like a football player and not like an NBA player.' "

Suffice to say, Barry didn't join the Raiders for practice that day.