Tag:Willie McCovey
Posted on: July 9, 2010 6:25 pm
Edited on: July 9, 2010 7:13 pm
 

Rose-Fosse collision still resonates


Before the All-Star Game "counted," Pete Rose proved it mattered.

Or, at least, it did matter to Rose. But every game mattered to Rose. In the 1970 All-Star Game, he showed the rest of the country, if they didn't know already, that he'd do anything to win.

In what has become an essential part of Rose lore, he ran over Indians catcher Ray Fosse to score the winning run in the 12th inning of the 1970 game. (Box score)

The game was not only hosted by Rose's Reds, but also in his hometown of Cincinnati, where to this day, he is more remembered for 4,192 than his later gambling scandal.

Played July 14, 1970, it was just the 12th game at the new Riverfront Stadium. The Reds were Red, but they were yet Big or a Machine. In fact, Joe Morgan was in the game as an Astro, not a Red.

It was in the middle of a seven-game winning streak by the National League, and it appeared the AL would finally get a win, as Catfish Hunter entered the game with a 4-1 lead in the ninth and facing Dick Dietz, Bud Harrelson and Cito Gaston to seal the victory -- none of the trio would join Hunter in Cooperstown, and it's likely nobody expected them to do so.

Pete Rose Dietz, though, led off with a homer, followed by a single by Harrelson. After Gaston popped up, Morgan singled to right and that was it for Hunter, replaced by Fritz Peterson, who immediately gave up a single to Willie McCovey, scoring Harrelson and putting the tying run on third.

That was it for Peterson, replaced by Mel Stottlemyre, in to face pinch-hitter Roberto Clemente. Clemente lined out to center, but Morgan scored. Rose had a chance to win it, but struck out, sending the game to extra innings.

Rose wouldn't waste his second chance, singling to center with two outs in the 12th, advancing to second on Billy Grabarkewitz's single.

The next batter, Jim Hickman, singled to center and third-base coach Leo Durocher waved Rose home.

Rose was rounding third and saw Amos Otis fielding the ball and in a good to position to beat him with a throw home.

As he got closer to the plate, Rose leaned forward, ready to dive head-first into the plate, but Fosse had the plate blocked and Rose did what Rose would always do -- anything necessary to score.

With a full head of steam, Rose ducked his left shoulder into Fosse before the ball arrived, sending Fosse backward as the ball rolled harmlessly away.

In the difference between then and now, even the American League manager defended Rose.

"That's definitely the only way to play," Earl Weaver said. "You play to win. You don't compromise."

Pete Rose always played to win and never compromised, even in an exhibition.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

More All-Star memories -- 2002: The Tie; 1999: The Kid steals the show; 1949: First integrated edition; 1941: Teddy Ballagame's walk-off homer

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.



Posted on: July 8, 2010 4:30 pm
Edited on: April 18, 2011 11:58 am
 

1999: the Kid steals the show

In anticipation of the 2010 All-Star Game in Anaheim on Tuesday, July 13, the CBS Sports MLB Facts and Rumors blog looks back at some of the more memorable editions of the All-Star Game. Today looks at the 1999 All-Star Game.

I sat slack-jawed with a tape recorder rolling and no questions in my head, just a desire for the answers to never stop coming.

It was a hotel ballroom in Boston, and Warren Spahn and I were among four or five stragglers in there. He was telling the story of his epic 16-inning, complete-game performance against Juan Marichal and the Giants at Candlestick Park in 1963. It was at least the second time Spahn had told it that day and likely the 10th, and I'd even heard it once before, but I listened again. Just as he mentioned Willie Mays' homer, someone walked into the room and said it was time for Spahn to go.

He apologized, said he could go on for hours and I told him I could listen for more. An hour before, the room had been full of the greatest major-league players in history. Mays was there, so was Marichal, not to mention Hank Aaron, Johnny Bench, Bob Gibson, Frank Robinson, Brooks Robinson -- pretty much everywhere I turned, I bumped into a Hall of Famer.

While All-Star Games are naturally filled with All-Stars, the 1999 game was different. It was filled with bigger stars than just the usual names, even in this, the summer following the Mark McGwire-Sammy Sosa slugfest before it lost its luster. They were there, as was Ken Griffey Jr. at the height of his popularity. Pedro Martinez was making hometown fans think the curse may be bunk. But still, among all the All-Star Games in the history of the exhibition, this was less about the game and the current players than any other.

The 1999 game was not only at one of the country's most historic ballparks, Fenway Park, it was also coming at the time of an endless stream of best-of-the-century lists. But baseball's list, its Team of the Century, was kicked off in a different fashion than any other.

While other places talked of history, it was on display in Boston. Most people didn't see this part, because it was before MLB had 24 hours a day to fill with TV programming, but baseball announced its 100 greatest players of the 20th century in a news conference with the vast majority of the living members of that club in attendance in a hotel ballroom in Boston.

It was an amazing display of the game's greats, and after an entertaining hour-or-so, the players were brought into another room for one-on-one interviews. It was an hour of baseball geek bliss. At 23, I was slightly intimidated and more than happy to listen in on the conversations of the likes of Willie McCovey, Robin Yount, Mike Schmidt and Yogi Berra, among others.

Ted Williams, Pete Rose and Sandy Koufax weren't there, but it was hard to complain about their absence -- or the two from the dais that skipped the one-on-ones, Stan Musial and George Brett, although with Missouri roots, those were the two I'd hoped to interview more than the others.

Ted Williams By the time the all-time greats were introduced on the field the night of the game, I thought I was goose-bumped out. Until, right in front of my seat in the right field auxiliary press box, came Williams in on a golf cart. He did a lap and ultimately was the center of attention as he prepared to throw the first pitch.

It was a moment. A moment for baseball, a moment for baseball fans across the country to share their memories with another generation of fans -- to share their own stories of seeing Mays or Mantle play. In short, it was the rare moment when the ceremonial first pitch outshines the real first pitch. Even future Hall of Famers like Cal Ripken Jr. and Tony Gwynn seemed to grasp the special nature of the moment. We all did -- those at Fenway and even those watching at home.

Martinez went on to become the first All-Star pitcher to strike out the side in the first inning, fanning Barry Larkin, Larry Walker and Sosa to start the game. He then struck out McGwire to lead off the second, bringing to mind Carl Hubbell's 1934 feat of getting Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Jimmy Foxx, Al Simmons and Joe Cronin consecutively. It was an impressive display, even after Matt Williams broke Martinez's strikeout streak, reaching on an error. Martinez would win the game and the MVP, but even before he faced Larkin, the game had earned its spot in history.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

More All-Star memories -- 2002: The Tie ; 1949: First integrated edition ; 1941: Teddy Ballagame's walk-off homer

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.


 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com