Former catcher Ray Fosse, who spent 12 years behind the plate for four teams but was perhaps best-known as a player for a vicious collision with Pete Rose in the 1970 All-Star Game, has died at the age of 74.
Carol Fosse, Fosse’s wife, announced that Fosse, who had been fighting cancer for 16 years, died on Wednesday.
After his playing days ended, Fosse began a second career in broadcasting, serving as an analyst for Oakland A’s games on TV and radio from 1986 until he stepped down this past August to focus on his cancer treatment and spending time with his family.
Fosse, who was the seventh overall selection in the 1965 Cleveland Indians draft, made his MLB debut at age 20 in 1967. In Cleveland, he played eight seasons and made the American League All-Star roster. He also won Gold Glove honours in 1971 and 1970.
In 1970, he was at.307 hitting 18 home runs and scoring a total of.307. However, 16 of those home runs came before the All-Star Game, when Rose barreled into him in the bottom of the 12th inning to score the winning run.
His website, which chronicled the game, stated that “Even though I am now looking at the replay, my position in trying to catch and tag Pete Rose”
My coaches always advised me to stand on the home plate and go where the ball is thrown. Pete Rose hit me as I waited for Amos Otis to throw. The impact of the collision was so hard that my catcher’s mitt left my hand, and the ball flew over my head. The baseball was never returned to me.”
Fosse was admitted to hospital. However, x-rays showed that nothing was wrong. Fosse played the remainder of the season, despite not being able to raise his left arm above the head.
X-rays the following spring revealed a fracture and separation in his left shoulder. Even though he made the All-Star team again the following season, he would never again be the same player.
In 1973, Fosse was traded to the Oakland A’s, where he won back-to-back World Series rings. Fosse returned to Cleveland in 1976 and spent brief periods in Seattle, Milwaukee, and Milwaukee.
Even after his retirement, he was still connected to the sport as a broadcaster and scout with the A’s.
The team posted a touching tribute tweet to their hero, Ray. “We’ll miss you, Ray.”