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Greg Goossen Obituary

1945 - 2011
(ellagale / Dollar Photo Club)
LOS ANGELES (AP) Greg Goossen, a former major leagues catcher who was signed by the Los Angeles Dodgers at 18 and led a colorful life after his baseball career by working as a private detective, boxing trainer and character actor, has died. He was 65.

His brother, Michael, said Monday that one of Goossen's daughters found him dead Saturday at his Sherman Oaks home after he did not show up for a photo session related to his induction into his high school's Hall of Fame.

He said the cause of his death has not yet been determined, but it appeared he suffered a heart attack.

"He was a very good man. Very loyal and very family oriented," he said.

Born on Dec. 14, 1945, in Los Angeles, Goossen was the fourth in a family of eight brothers and two sisters. He was a standout football and basketball player at Notre Dame High School in Sherman Oaks, where he graduated in 1964.

The Dodgers drafted the 18-year-old catcher, signing him for a six-figure bonus and sending him to spring training with two future Hall of Famers, Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale. A year later, Mets Manager Casey Stengel picked him up on a waiver from the Dodgers.

Goossen also played for the Seattle Pilots, Milwaukee Brewers and Washington Senators before his baseball career ended in 1970.

He later worked as a private detective and helped his brother, Joe, as a boxing trainer, working with Michael Nunn and Gabriel and Rafael Ruelas, brothers who became featherweight and lightweight champions in the 1990s.

Through boxing, he met Gene Hackman and later served as the actor's stand-in in more than a dozen movies. He also played minor characters in many of those films.

Goossen, who was divorced, was survived by his nine siblings and three daughters: Erin Hyder, Tracey Woodside and Kimberly Goossen.

A memorial service was planned for March 10 at Saint Francis de Sales Church in Sherman Oaks.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press