REMEMBRANCE OF THINGS PAST- MAJOR LEAGUE BALLBALL’S ALL-STAR GAME- JULY 14, 1970 / ROSE VS FOSSE

The place where Ray Fosse and Pete Rose collide - ABC7 San Francisco

Hans Remembers- Tuesday July 14, 1970- 50 Years Ago.

Major League Baseball held its annual All-Star Game at newly opened Riverfront Stadium in Cincinnati. That particular All-Star Game will be remembered as long as baseball is played- for the way the game ended. It is still talked about by fans today and 50 years later still stirs up controversy. The National League dominated the American League in All-Star Games back then. It was a given every year that the National League would win and they took great pride in their domination. Going into this game the NL had won the game seven years in a row.

This All-Star Game would be a close one. It went extra innings. I was a nine year old kid at my grandparents watching the game. I was sitting on the floor. I can’t remember as a kid ever watching television not sitting on the floor. The All-Star Game to me seemed pretty big back then. It was the only time until the World Series that the National League and American League would face each other in competition. I wasn’t the only one watching the game that night- to this day the 1970 All-Star Game holds the record for the highest television rating for the game. The 2019 game has the lowest ever television rating. A couple things played a part in these high ratings. It was the first ever All-Star Game played at night and that season was the first in over a decade where the fans were given the vote for electing the starting line-up.

There were great players in this game. The American League roster featured eight future Hall of Fame players while the National League featured 13. The starting pitching match-up featured two of the best pitchers from that era- Tom Seaver vs Jim Palmer.

The game was tied 4-4 as the game went into the bottom of the 12th inning. The star of the game to this point was the AL’s Carl Yastrzemski who had four hits in the game. He would become the second player on a losing team to win the MVP Award for the game.

That Time Pete Rose Blew Up the 1970 All-Star Game - Cincinnati ...

In the bottom of the 12th the AL’s pitcher Clyde Wright got the first two hitters out- then Cincinnati’s home town hero Pete Rose got a single followed by another single by Billy Grabarkewitz. Runners were at first and second with two outs. Up comes the Cubs Jim Hickman. Hickman singles to center field. There was no question that Rose who was on second would challenge the arm of the AL’s center fielder Amos Otis and try to score. Rose a player known for his hustle had no hesitation. Otis’s throw was on the third base side of the plate- and as the AL’s Ray Fosse caught the ball Pete Rose bowled Fosse over- Fosse drops the ball. Rose scores and the National League had won their 8th straight All-Star Game. {From 1959-1987 the National League won 28 of he 32 All-Star Games played.}

Pete Rose: still cagey and defiant about the Ray Fosse collision ...

Pete Rose is one of the most controversial players in baseball history- he would be kicked out of baseball in the late 80’s and barred from Baseball’s Hall of Fame for gambling on games. I am no fan of Pete Rose the man but as a baseball player he played all out all the time. I think he the ban from baseball and the Hall of Fame are correct moves but I will defend him on this play. Fosse was blocking the plate. What were Rose’s options? To just stop and let Fosse tag him out? Rose didn’t play that way. Again in all the photos and in the included live footage- look at how far up the third base line Fosse was blocking the plate?

Ray Fosse still feels effects from collision with Pete Rose in ...

Ray Fosse was a 23 year old catcher for the Cleveland Indians- a rising star. His shoulder was separated on this play. Fosse would miss time but would play in over half of the Indians games the rest of that season. He would be an All-Star the following year. His career would be marred by other injuries but in 1973 he did play in 143 games for the World Champion Oakland A’s. I think it has been viewed by many looking back that Rose had ruined Fosse’s career that night. That wasn’t the case. What may have played a bigger part in dimming Fosse’s star- was as an Oakland A- in 1974 a fight broke out in the clubhouse between teammates Reggie Jackson and Bill North. Fosse tries to break the fight up and is the one who was hurt- a crushed disk in his neck. He would spend 3 months on the disabled list. That incident seems to be forgotten- but it was more than anything else the incident that marked the decline of Fosse as a ballplayer. The most games he would play in a season after that was 90 and he would be out of the game as a player in 1979 at the age of 32.

Pete Rose has never backed down from this play at the plate during the All-Star Game 1970- and again I back him on this. It remains 50 years later one of the most- if not the #1 most memorable moment in All-Star Game history. I can’t believe it was 50 years ago!

Note- In 1990 Pete Rose spent 5 months in prison for income tax evasion. Where was he imprisoned at you ask? United States Penitentiary in Marion, Illinois. Ray Fosse was born and grew up in– Marion, Illinois.

12 responses to “REMEMBRANCE OF THINGS PAST- MAJOR LEAGUE BALLBALL’S ALL-STAR GAME- JULY 14, 1970 / ROSE VS FOSSE

  1. No you can’t blame Rose for this. Fosse was there blocking the plate. Until you brought it up…I never paid attention to how far up the line Fosse was for the play. If he would have given Rose room to slide he would have I believe…because the runner takes a chance also running over the catcher of getting hurt.

    I never liked the man but as a ballplayer, I would have loved for him to be on my team.

    • When he left the Reds the Pirates were one of the finalists- I was excited about that- they even offered him a race horse as part of the deal but he went to Philadelphia.

    • Hmmm. He wasn’t playing right or center.. or first.. left field was Robinson/Milner.. they had a whole at third before the Madlock deal. Overall I think it worked out fine that he didn’t sign- they won a championship- and for Philadelphia- they would win one with Pete. Both teams happy. Cincinnati meanwhile…what were they thinking?

    • I was wondering that but yea that was before the Madlock deal so I guess that is where he would have been..
      The Reds made some odd decisions in the late 70s… trading Tony Perez changed them…they got the numbers back but he was important to that team…the gm said it was his worse mistake…firing Sparky after another winning season and yea letting Pete go.

      As a Dodger fan I was elated that they did that.

    • I can’t think of a worse firing than when the Reds fired Sparky. That was totally out of the blue. He wasn’t out of work long.

    • Well after you said that…I thought about it… tried to come up with another manager who shouldn’t have been fired…and doing nothing obvious to cause it…Joe Girardi with the Marlins was one that was a head scratcher…but not in the Sparky league.

  2. Both played hard all the time. Unfortunate what happened but it was an accident. I liked Fosse but Rose was my fave player when i was a little kid first seeing baseball & collecting cards. He should be in Cooperstown. I’ ve seen interviews with him through the years & he is …a bit of a knob. But on the field, wow. I think he might be a tiny bit under-rated. He was a hitting machine, ran a lot of singles into doubles and to do so for so many years. All due respect to Mike Trout but he’ll be pretty long in the tooth before he makes 4200 hits.

    • Rose broke the cardinal rule of baseball and then denied it for a couple decades. He was always about himself first and baseball second. It is still always about Pete. He’s not the brightest guy. That said he was an outstanding ballplayer.

    • I agree with you about his personality, and that he most definitely should not have bet on the sport when a manager. But as a player… it wasn’t so much that he was head and shoulders above every last player in the game, it was that he played at an all-star type level for about 20 years straight.

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