Longtime A’s broadcaster Ray Fosse will step away from the booth for health reasons and Friday revealed has been silently battling cancer for 16 years.
Statements from Ray Fosse, the A’s, and NBC Sports California. We send our unconditional support to Ray. pic.twitter.com/yIe5QVx962
— Oakland A’s (@Athletics) August 5, 2021
Fosse has become a classic part of A’s TV and radio broadcasts since 1986 and grown into a folksy, old-school commentator who plays it straight and always been a true professional. There’s something about hearing Fosse and Ken Korach and Vince Cotroneo on the radio, the chemistry hits different.
He has become a key interviewer for decades of A’s players and formed a nice rapport with play-by-play TV man Glen Kuiper over the years. It’s always hilarious when Dallas Braden drops some knowledge on Foss, like the time he learned about Mac Dre since “Feelin’ myself” was Mark Canha’s walk-up song.
— The Rickey Henderson of Blogs (@RickeyBlog) July 17, 2021
Fosse is a central figure in the A’s world and always represented a man of strength. No one loves his catchers more than Ray Fosse.
I wish nothing but the best for Ray and his family and hope he gets the chance to come back sometime this season and join the broadcast booth. I know he’d get a massive ovation from the crowd the next time he’s at the Coliseum, whether he’s working or not. He deserves it.
Fosse only played for the A’s for three seasons (1973-75) of his 12-year MLB career, but helped Oakland win World Series in 1973 and 1974. He played 141 games at catcher in ‘73 and 68 games in ‘74. Fosse was decent during those championship years with the A’s — he slashed .239/.276/.345 with 11 homers and 75 RBI — but he was even better during his All-Star seasons in 1970-71 with the Cleveland Indians.
Alas, his rising career was stifled by the final play of the 1970 All-Star Game, when Pete Rose bowled him over. While initial examination didn’t reveal any structural damage, Fosse learned in 1971 that he separated his shoulder and it healed back incorrectly.
Fosse took part of the 1975 A’s team that fell from grace and was eventually traded back to the Cleveland Indians in 1976 once Charlie O. Finley dismantled the dynasty. In 1977, he actually caught a Dennis Eckersley no-hitter when they both played for Cleveland.
In an organization full of longtime legends, Fosse is right there near the top, given his lengthy broadcast career after playing. He’s a bridge from the Swingin’ A’s of the 70s to today’s generation of A’s players.
Let’s hope a speedy recovery is in Ray’s future.