This guy I’m talking about is Greg Goossen. The Society for American Baseball Research is having their annual shindig in Atlanta this week. They have an email list called SABR-L. On that list there’s been a recent discussion about Gossen.
Goossen was a ballplayer back in the ’60s. He was on one of the early Mets squads. Once, he was coming back to the hotel after curfew and a bit schnockered. He ran into Casey Stengel, who was managing the Mets at the time. “Drunk again, Goossen,” said the septugenarian skipper. Goossen replied, “Yeah, me too, Casey.” But he’s more famous as part of a Stengel quote. It goes something like “There’s Ed Kranepool, who is 20. In 10 years he has a chance to be a star. And there’s Greg Goossen; in ten years he has a chance to be 30.”
45 years later, Goossen is still alive. He was a California guy and went Hollyweird after he hung up his spikes. Got a job as a stand-in for Gene Hackman in movies and ended up getting some bit parts as a result of this. One of these was the 1990 copedy Loose Cannons. S. Epatha Merkerson had a role in that pic. She’s best known as Lt. Van Buren from “Law and Order.” But she also did some film roles. She appeared in Terminator 2 with Ahhnuld.
Schwarzenegger came to fame in the 1977 documentary Pumping Iron. But before that he made an uncredited appearance in Robert Altman’s adaptation of Raymond Chandler’s The Long Goodbye. Synechdochically enough, he played some muscle in that flick. It was a quirky film; Elliot Gould’s Marlowe was like a fish out of water stuck in the Watergate era. I liked it and like to think that Mickey Mantle and Bowie Kuhn got a kick out of it, too. You see, toward’s the end, Marlowe blows away his friend Terry Lennox by firing his roscoe at point blank range.
Lennox was played by Jim Bouton. Bouton was Goossen’s teammate on the 1969 Seattle Pilots.