Donald John Otten
The Arizona Republic
December 12, 2011
John passed away peacefully in Sun City, AZ on December 10th.
He is survived by his wife, Rosemary Coffeen Otten, brother Robert Otten
(Adeline), nephew Jack Miller (Pam), and niece Barbara Miller, and six
Originally from Brooklyn, New York, Mr. Otten was a proud veteran of WWII
(USN) who embarked on three distinct, and successful, career paths following
his service to his country.
After the war, Mr. Otten began a professional baseball career that spanned
several years with the Brooklyn Dodgers' organization.
Mr. Otten, a tall, right-handed pitcher, was impressive at various levels
as he worked his way up through the Dodgers' farm system. He posted a
marvelous 16-3 mark for the Greenwood (MS) Dodgers in 1948 and was eventually
promoted to the Ft. Worth (TX) Cats where he compiled a 15-4 record in
As a result of this success, Mr. Otten was invited to the Dodgers spring
training camp in 1952 where he was a teammate of such Dodger legends (and
future Hall of Famers) as Pee Wee Reese, Jackie Robinson, Duke Snider,
and Roy Campenella. Mr. Otten finished the 1952 season with the St. Paul
(MN) Saints with a solid 9-9 record with teammates including future major
league stalwarts as Clem Labine, Sandy Amoros, Danny Ozark, and eventual
basketball Hall of Famer, Bill Sharman.
Overall, Mr. Otten played for eight clubs affiliated with the Dodgers'
organization, completing his seven year career with a remarkable 2.97
ERA (earned run average) as both a starter and reliever.
Following his departure from baseball, Mr. Otten served an additional
20 years in the US Air Force before retiring from the military as a staff
sergeant. Deciding that he was not quite ready for permanent retirement
at that time, Mr. Otten next became an auditor for the US Internal Revenue
Service and completed a twenty-year tenure in that position before finally
retiring and eventually moving to the Phoenix area.
An avid reader, compulsive baseball fan, and beloved husband, Mr. Otten
will be remembered for his warm sense of humor, his compassion for family
and friends, and his devotion to his wife, Rosemary.
Services will be held on Saturday, December 17th with visitation at 10:00
a.m. followed by mass at 11:00 a.m. at St. Clements of Rome in Sun City.
In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that donations be made to the
Disabled American Veterans of Arizona, 38 W. Dunlap, Phoenix, Arizona