Ray Fosse, Marion, Ill. native, Oakland A’s announcer passes away
(KFVS) - Messages of condolences are flooding the Oakland A’s social media pages after the Major League Baseball team announced the passing of legendary broadcaster and Marion, Illinois native Ray Fosse.
According to the team, Fosse passed away on Wednesday, October 13 at the age of 74.
You can read more on his obituary here.
In August, the all-star catcher, two-time World Series champion announced he was stepping away from the Oakland A’s broadcasting booth to focus on his efforts toward a 16-year battle with cancer.
Fosse is survived by his wife of 51 years and his daughters, Nikki and Lindsey.
Marion Baseball coach Marty Manfredo was shocked to hear the news of Fosse passing. But Manfredo characterized Fosse like this.
“You know he brought out the best in people that he was around and you know as far as in Marion he’s the closest thing to a rock star that we’ve got.”
John Goss, remembers coaching Fosse back when he played in the Colt League in Marion. He says all these years later, this is the story that still sticks out to him.
“He was so tough, one game we were, I recall very well a foul ball went up towards the dugouts and those dugouts in those days were supported with 4 by 4 beams, the beam didn’t bother ray he went after the ball and broke the 4 by 4 beam got up and went back to catch it, didn’t even bother him,” explains Goss.
In a statement on Twitter, the A’s said they are heartbroken at his passing and that “few people epitomize what it means to be an Athletic more than Ray. He was the type of franchise icon who always made sure every player, coach, colleague, and fan knew that they were part of the Oakland A’s family.”
Fosse was born and raised in Marion, Ill., and attended Southern Illinois University.
During the inaugural 1965 MLB Draft, Fosse was drafted at number 7 by Cleveland.
From there, his 12-year career in the majors took him to Oakland, Seattle and Milwaukee.
That 12 year career was no surprise to Goss.
“I remember he told me I said I don’t believe they’re paying me when he went to the major leagues, paying me to do something I love to play, they’re paying me to do it. That’s the kind of guy he was,” explains Goss.
In 1970, he was involved in perhaps one of the most shocking moments in All-Star Game history, when Cincinnati Reds’ Pete Rose barreled over him to win the the game for the National League.
That collision fractured and separated his left shoulder.
Fosse told The Associated Press in 2015 his body still ached 45 years later.
After his playing career, he moved to the broadcast booth and was part of the Athletics radio and TV broadcasts since 1986.
Manfredo says he Marion High School will honor Fosse in some form this upcoming season. Fosse number is already retired.
“He’s the only baseball player we got his number retired, and the kids get mad every time we get new uniforms cause everybody wants number 13, and I said sorry boys that’s ray, nobody gets that anymore,” says Manfredo.
The City of Marion honored Fosse by naming a city park after him.
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