Pete Rose runs over Ray Fosse
In some ways, there is not a single play or moment in an All-Star Game which ruminates more to this day than Pete Rose running over Ray Fosse in the 12 inning of the 1970 All-Star Game. Fosse then was a rookie with the Baltimore Orioles, playing for the famously demanding Earl Weaver in this game.
Rose was hands down one of the best players in baseball—perhaps the best pure hitter since Ted Williams. As we’ve learned more succinctly in the years and decades which have followed, Rose was not only a great hitter, but a crazy son of a gun—someone who apparently didn’t think then (and still does not seem to) the rules applied to him.
Of course at the time there was no rule about running into the catcher on a play at the plate. Generally doing so would have been lauded by the manager, teammates and media.
But there would have been some form of an unwritten rule saying you don’t do it in an All-Star Game, even in the 12th inning trying to win the contest. After all, it was an All-Star Game, an exhibition game if there ever were one.
Just as he’s broken other more serious, actual written down rules, Rose broke the unwritten one on that fateful night in Cincinnati ramming his body at full speed into Fosse—securing the victory for the National League as the ball careened away from Fosse and left the rookie catcher dazed and confused, literally.
Rose saw some karmic retribution come his way—he missed the next few games with a thigh bruise, whereas Fosse played the next regular season game. But 45 years later Fosse admits he still feels the brunt of the collision, “My body hurts. My shoulder still hurts.
Call it famous. Call it infamous. Whatever you want it to call it, it sure is memorable. A quick Google search of “Pete Rose Ray Fosse” instantly pulls up three articles about the incident written in the past three days.
No one is going to forget the play anytime soon.
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