This Day in Baseball History: July 14th, 1970

Certainly doesn’t make Rose any more likeable, does it?

On July 14, 1970:

Pete Rose nails Ray Fosse at home plate.

Ray Fosse was a 23-year old catcher in his first full season for the Cleveland Indians. By the break, he was hitting .312/.366/.527 for an OPS+ of 147. Pete Rose was a 29-year old Cincinnati Reds outfielder actually in the midst of one of his worst seasons, but by the time of the All-Star Game, he was hitting .323/.395/.500 for an OPS+ of 149. Both deserved to be at the All-Star Game, and they were both headed to Rose’s home Cinergy Field.

The July 14th game was a tough one. The AL All-Stars took advantage of a strong Fosse performance, as the young man went 1-for-2 with a walk, RBI, and run, to pull out to a 4-1 lead heading into the bottom of the ninth, but things went wrong for the AL. Catfish Hunter entered the game and promptly delivered one up to Dick Dietz, who crushed it for a home run. Two singles and an out later, Willie McCovey drove in another run with a single to make it 4-3. Roberto Clemente followed him up with a sacrifice fly to tie the game. With a man on, Pete Rose struck out to end the inning. No one scored until the 12th inning. Rose singled with 2 outs, and Billy Grabarkewitz, in the midst of his only productive season, followed with another single, bringing up Jim Hickman. He promptly sent one out to center, and Rose made the turn for home. The throw from Amos Otis was on target, beating Rose to the plate, but never one to back down, Rose ran right through Fosse at the plate, separating Fosse’s shoulder.

This play has often been cited as Fosse’s undoing, but that’s not really correct. Fosse had a few more productive seasons, even playing the 1971 All-Star Game, but the real problem came in 1974 when he tried to separate fellow Oakland A’s Reggie Jackson and Billy North. Fosse received a crushed neck in the tussle, and he was never productive and durable again. Without Rose running into Fosse, Fosse could have continued being an All-Star for much longer, but we could have a laundry list of players who have flamed out after a productive first half.

Rose, however, was criticized for taking out the young catcher. On one hand, this was just an exhibition game, and the incident was a bit over the top. But on the other hand, players are expected to play hard, and the crowd wouldn’t have been happy if Rose just gave up. Sure, he could have just tried to slide around, but that wasn’t Charlie Hustle.

Weird factoid: Fosse had Rose as a dinner guest the night before.

Trivia Time
What current pitching coach did the Indians receive in exchange for Fosse in 1973?

Yesterday’s Answer –> Kruk stole 18 bases in 1987, but he was also thrown out 10 times.


5 Responses to “This Day in Baseball History: July 14th, 1970”

  1. Ron Rollins Says:

    Dave Duncan

  2. tHeMARksMiTh Says:

    I can't think of one good reason why you know, or anyone, would know that.

  3. Ron Rollins Says:

    Duncan was a catcher for the A's. Fosse was a catcher for the Indians. When the Indians traded Fosse to the A's, it just made sense that Duncan would have been involved to catch for the Indians.

    Besides, I saw it as a trick question. Duncan is the only pitching coach in the game that wasn't a pitcher.

    Simple, sound, logical reasoning.

    And no, I didn't look it up.

  4. tHeMARksMiTh Says:

    Oh, I trust that you didn't look it up, but I'm still impressed. And I didn't make it to be a trick question (I never said catcher in exchange for), but I just didn't expect anyone to get it. Well done.

  5. Ron Rollins Says:

    I didn't mean you would think I would look it up. I know you trust the answers.

    Just in case anyone else thinks I might.

    If anyone wants to know about baseball in the 70's, I'm pretty good at it. Not everything, but a lot of it.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: