‘As if it hap­pened yesterday’

Four-plus decades later, Ray Fosse still feels ef­fects from All-Star Game col­li­sion with Pete Rose

Cape Breton Post - - SPORTS - BY JANIE MCCAULEY AP Sports Writer Joe Kay in Cincinnati con­trib­uted to this re­port.

Ray Fosse’s body still aches, 45 years later.

He never did fully re­cover phys­i­cally from one of the most in­fa­mous plays in All-Star Game history, when Pete Rose bulled him over in 1970 to score the win­ning run in the 12th in­ning at River­front Sta­dium.

With the game back in Cincinnati on Tues­day, Fosse is re­minded again of that mo­ment. Over and over. Not that he needs another look.

“As if it hap­pened yesterday,” said Fosse, a Cleve­land catcher at the time and now an Oak­land broad­caster. “As much as it’s shown, I don’t have to see it on TV as a replay to know what hap­pened. It’s fresh.” That night changed his ca­reer. “It seems to be a play that peo­ple kind of re­late to, that will some­how be kind of an opener, an ice­breaker,” he said. “It’s like, ’Oh, you’re the guy.”’

To this day, he in­tro­duces him­self to A’s play­ers as “just Ray Fosse, one of the broad­cast­ers.”

Later, they tend to fig­ure it out.

Fosse has pain and arthri­tis, en­dured five knee surg­eries has two bum shoul­ders he never had fixed and a stiff neck.

In fair­ness, he knows a lot of that is a re­sult of the rigours of be­ing a catcher.

“My body hurts. My shoul­der still hurts,” he said. “There was not any­body at the time to say, ’Don’t play.’ I con­tin­ued. That’s some­thing that I take with a lot of pride.”

Fosse re­calls it be­ing 160 de- grees on the ar­ti­fi­cial turf that night in Ohio, when the AL blew a 4-1, ninth-in­ning lead and lost 5-4 on Rose’s run.

Rose says Fosse left him no room to slide into home on the decisive play.

“He’s the one block­ing the plate with­out the ball,” Rose said on Thurs­day. “I’m the one who missed three games with an in­jury to my knee. He played nine more years af­ter that.”

Two days af­ter the All-Star Game, Fosse caught nine in­nings in a win at Kansas City.

He couldn’t lift his arm above his head.

“They didn’t have the tech­nol­ogy, I didn’t see any of it, as far as X-rays, no MRI, not re­ally any­thing,” Fosse re­called in May at the Oak­land Coli­seum.

“Since my salary was about $12,000 at the time, no­body was go­ing to tell me I couldn’t play. Even though I was hurt and prob­a­bly shouldn’t have played, there was no in­jury that ac­tu­ally showed. It just was in­ter­nal. As it turned out it was a frac­tured, sep­a­rated shoul­der. Things were dif­fer­ent then.”

Fosse “never had the ball, never touched the ball” when Rose came plow­ing into him at the plate.

Now 68, Fosse of­fered his sup­port af­ter Giants catcher Buster Posey got run over by the Mar­lins’ Scott Cousins in May 2011, which in part led Ma­jor League Base­ball to im­ple­ment a new rule last sea­son ban­ning such home-plate hits.

All most fans re­call was that bruis­ing end.

“That’s some­thing peo­ple will con­tinue to talk about, whether they were alive at the time or watched the video and see the re­sult,” Fosse said.

“There have been some harder hits. Just the fact it was an All-Star Game, they al­ways vote on the All-Star game high­lights or lowlights and that al­ways seems to be at the top that peo­ple talk about.”


In this July 14, 1970, file photo, Na­tional League’s Pete Rose, left, is hugged by his team­mate Dick Di­etz while Amer­i­can League catcher Ray Fosse lies in­jured on the ground, af­ter Rose crashed into him to score the game-win­ning run for the Na­tional League team, in the 12th in­ning of the 1970 All-Star Game in Cincinnati.


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