Taken [in part] from an article written by Norm King
ANDREW JOHN KOSCO
Andrew John Kosco IV was born on October 5, 1941, in Youngstown, Ohio. He was the third of four children of Andrew Kosco, III and Minnie (Rotz) Kosco. Andrew III ran a newsstand with his brother while Minnie stayed at home to raise the children.
Kosco excelled at every sport as a youngster. By the time he was a senior at Struthers High School, he was a strapping 6-feet-3 and 210 pounds, and excelled in football, basketball, and baseball. He received 44 scholarship offers for football, including ones from powers such as Michigan State and Ohio State, and 27 offers for basketball. “I think I was blessed with a lot of size,” said Kosco. “I ran well and threw well.”
Kosco was also blessed with a lot of baseball ability, which really manifested itself in his senior year, when he batted over .700 in 11 high-school games with eight home runs, and averaged 14 strikeouts a game as a pitcher. Those numbers attracted interest from all 16 major-league teams.
Kosco made his first appearance in a major-league game on August 13, 1965 at Cleveland. He grounded out pinch-hitting for pitcher Garry Roggenburk. He got his first start, first hit and first home run the next day, going 1-for-4 and playing right field. The Twins held a comfortable eight-game lead over second-place Cleveland. The winning continued as the Twins went on to capture the American League pennant. Kosco got into 23 games and hit .236 with that one home run to his credit. He did not play in the World Series.
In 1968, the Yankees gave Kosco playing time and he responded with a .240 average, 16 home runs, and 59 RBIs in 131 games, all the while loving every minute he wore the pinstripes.
“You cannot imagine the thrill it is to put on a Yankee uniform and play in Yankee Stadium,” he said. “And you have to be around [Mickey] Mantle every day to appreciate what he is — the most courageous man I have ever seen.”
After playing 98 games for Milwaukee in 1971, Kosco went on to the California Angels and Boston Red Sox in 1972, then spent two seasons with the Cincinnati Reds. From 1971 to 1974, he played in 244 games and batted .237 with 28 home runs and 84 RBIs. His stint with the Reds gave him his only taste of postseason experience when they appeared in the 1973 National League Championship Series against the New York Mets, a best-of-five affair, which the Mets won, three games to two. Kosco got three singles in ten at-bats.
He batted .235 in his final year of professional ball with six home runs and 22 RBIs. He broke his wrist that year, and that injury, along with the death of his father, caused him to lose interest in baseball and motivated him to move on.
After his playing career ended, Kosco combined working with education. By showing the same persistence in the classroom that he did on the field, he got a bachelor’s degree at Youngstown State University after 15 years as a part-time student. He also worked in admissions at his alma mater.
In the 1980s Kosco got into the insurance business with former major leaguer Nick Goulish, who played with the Phillies in 1944-1945. Goulish was suffering from ALS and died in 1984, but the company remained the Goulish-Kosco Insurance Agency. As of 2014 Kosco ran the agency with his sons Bryn and Dru, both of whom reached the Triple-A level in the minors.
Kosco’s wife, Cathy, was his high-school sweetheart. They married in 1962. Besides Bryn and Dru, they had three daughters. When not working, Kosco took part in charity golf tournaments around the United States with former teammates. All in all, he said, he has had a very rewarding life. “I was blessed to play as long as I did and have such a wonderful family and that’s what it’s all about.”
* Dru Kosco played three games for the Calgary Cannons, the Seattle Mariners’ affiliate in the Pacific Coast League, in 1989. Bryn Kosco played for the Iowa Cubs of the American Association in 1995-1996.