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Ray Fosse, longtime MLB catcher and announcer, dies at 74 after 16-year battle with cancer

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Longtime big-league catcher and broadcaster Ray Fosse died on Wednesday after a 16-year battle with cancer, according to the Oakland Athletics. Fosse was 74 years old.

The Athletics released the following statement about Fosse’s passing:

Fosse had long been a fixture on Athletics broadcasts after retiring from playing. He announced he was stepping away from the booth in August after more than 35 years on the job with the following statement:

“Along with my wife of 51 years, Carol, today we share that I have been silently battling cancer for the past 16 years. Given my current medical condition, I am taking a step away from the A’s and NBC Sports California effective immediately, to focus on my treatment and to be with my family during this time. My wife, Carol, and I extend our gratitude to the baseball community, and community at large, for your thoughts and prayers.”  

Fosse enjoyed a 12-year career in the majors as a catcher. He broke into the big leagues with Cleveland in 1967 and he later made the All-Star Game in 1970 and 1971. Fosse’s inclusion in the 1970 contest has become ingrained in the sport’s memory because of Pete Rose’s decision to barrel over Fosse. That collision left Fosse  with a fractured and dislocated shoulder — injuries that plagued him the rest of his career, particularly on the offensive side of the ball.

Fosse would nevertheless go on to enjoy a full career because of his sterling defense. He would make stops with the Athletics, Seattle Mariners, and Milwaukee Brewers. He finished his career with a .256/.306/.367 line (90 OPS+) and 61 home runs. Fosse won a pair of Gold Glove Awards and received downballot consideration for the 1971 American League Most Valuable Player Award. 


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