Class of 2022Active: 2000 - 2019
23 Open Victories
Sean Rosenthal's statistics alone were enough to make him a first ballot Hall of Famer. Two Olympics, 23 tournament victories and $1.5 in prize money in nearly 20 seasons. It was his style, however, that made him legendary.
Double IPA Hops, startling power with both arms and astonishing quickness earned him a cult following that amped up the intensity of his matches. Members of Rosie’s Raiders, the loyal but rough around the edges crew who knew the nuances of the game and the special talent of their chosen one, even earned their own level of celebrity. They waived their flags, goaded opponents and created an atmosphere that helped the sport of beach volleyball maintain an edge that sponsors and fans yearned to be a part of. Everybody in the South Bay wanted to congregate early around the courts at Hermosa and Manhattan events to watch the local Redondo kid with the electrifying game bounce balls and compete for AVP Tour titles in his early twenties.
Nicknamed the son of Jarrell by Tour announcer Chris "Geeter" McGee, Sean's game was more titanium than steel. He was light, lean and agile. Sinewy strength as opposed to Superman biceps. He once ripped a ball straight down at the 2006 King of the Beach event in the desert which was dubbed "Vegas Line" and is commonly referenced in annals as the most impressive single swing in beach volleyball history.
Rosie captured his first AVP Title with fellow prodigy Larry Witt in 2003, ironically not in the soft sands of Hermosa but in the shadows of the boardwalk in Belmar, New Jersey, in only the pair's fifth event together. Rosie and Witt won again in 2004 in Ft. Lauderdale, but it would be their last title as a duo.
The word of Rosie's talents circulated around the world tour years before he became the 2006 FIVB Rookie of the Year while partnering with Jake Gibb. Gibb turned out to be a steadying influence for Rosie along with Hall of Famer Mike Dodd as their coach and the pair qualified for two Olympics together. They placed 5th both in Beijing in 2008 and London in 2012. Rosenthal and Gibb played 131 times together recording 15 wins and a total of 55 top three finishes.
The much talked about partnership of Rosie and gold medalist Phil Dalhausser formed shortly after the 2012 Olympics. The super team showed flashes of world dominance, but injuries on both halves of the court (abdominal for Phil and back for Rosie) never fully allowed the pair to get untracked. They did win six FIVB events in only 20 starts and added two AVP wins, one of those the Manhattan Open in 2014.They split a year prior to the 2016 Olympics, however, much to he disappointment of USA fans who felt gold was in their destiny.
The back continued to limit Rosie's playing career up until his last full season in 2019 when he participated in nine events with five different partners. He did mange two thirds with Ricardo Santos that year, showing off his trademark athleticism at age 39 but in smaller doses. He now enjoys golf and spending time with his daughter Tate and twins Skyler and Sawyer.