Hit re­mains fresh

Fosse still feels ef­fects from All-Star Game col­li­sion with Rose

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - SPORTS - BY JANIE MCCAULEY

Ray Fosse re­calls be­ing run over by Pete Rose dur­ing 1970 All-Star Game. “Long af­ter I’m gone, I’m sure they’ll still be show­ing the play. It’s part of the great game and I would never, ever say there’s any an­i­mos­ity or hard feel­ings about any­thing, about play­ing a game that I loved and still love.”

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.

Fosse re­calls 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,

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

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.

Fosse had a sin­gle, scored a run and drove in one. All most fans re­call was the 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.

Rose bris­tled Thurs­day at a sug­ges­tion the play ru­ined Fosse’s ca­reer.

“No. 1, I didn’t break the rules,” Rose said. “Two, I did not try to pur­posely hurt him. Three, I did not ruin his ca­reer. Four, I took him out to eat the night be­fore the game.”

Fosse had a 23-game hit­ting streak in the first half, at age 23. He hit 16 home runs be­fore the break and just two the rest of the sea­son.

Has he won­dered how his ca­reer might have turned out if Rose had taken a dif­fer­ent path?

“We prob­a­bly wouldn’t be talk­ing now,” Fosse said, chuck­ling. “From a pure base­ball stand­point, I re­ally haven’t thought about it that much. All I know is that hav­ing hit 16 home runs at the All-Star break, could I have hit 30? Could I have hit 30 an­nu­ally?”

AP PHOTO

Oak­land Ath­let­ics broad­caster and for­mer Cleve­land catcher Ray Fosse is in­ter­viewed be­fore a base­ball game be­tween the Ath­let­ics and the Detroit Tigers in Oak­land, Calif., on May 26, 2015. Fosse never did fully re­cover phys­i­cally from one of most in­fa­mous plays in All-Star Game history, when he was bulled over by Pete Rose in the 12th in­ning of the 1970 Sum­mer Clas­sic.

AP PHOTO

Ray Fosse spent parts of 12 sea­sons in the ma­jors.

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