The Obit For Donald Otten

Donald John Otten

The Arizona Republic
December 12, 2011

Otten, Donald 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 stepchildren.

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 1951.

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 85021.