Longtime Oakland A broadcaster and catcher Ray Fosse died Wednesday after a 16-year battle with cancer. He was 74 years old.
“It is with a heavy heart that Carole Fosse, wife of Ray Fosse of 51 years, shares the sad news that Ray Fossey lost his battle with cancer on October 13, 2021, after fighting quietly for the past 16 years,” read a statement. Website. “Carol and daughters, Nikki and Lindsay, send their love to the family, friends and fans who mourn their loss with them.”
Fosse spent three of his 12 major league seasons in Oakland, winning two World Series titles with Oakland’s Swingin’ A’s in 1973 and 1974. In that time, the tough catcher made a mark on the A’s franchise that spanned more than five decades.
The A’s radio play-by-play announcer Ken Korach said, “He traded the A’s in ’73, but it’s a long time to be associated with a franchise.” “He took that responsibility very seriously.
“He cared a lot about the franchise. He loved this outfit and he cared a lot. I think fans know this. He was a loved one for all the right reasons. ”
Korach and Fosse worked together in the A’s booths for 26 years, and Korach saw how Fosse’s strong work ethic led behind the microphone as a color commentator that transcended the baseball era. His story career struck a natural chord with the players. Fosse spent time with the A, Seattle Mariners, Milwaukee Brewers and Cleveland Indians, catching no-hitters from Paul Lindblad and Rowley Fingers in 1975 and Dennis Eckersley in 1977. He was named an All-Star twice, a famous part of home-plate. A collision in which Pete Rose of the Reds bowled over him in the 1970 game.
Fosse joined the A’s broadcast team under Hall of Fame voice Bill King and, like him, became a fountain of baseball wisdom. While some former players may take advantage of the opportunity to broadcast, Fosse has turned himself into a walking baseball encyclopedia. He carried a briefcase of notes for his 35-season broadcast, chronicling every moment with an impressive recollection of any pitch or play.
Like King, who died suddenly in 2005, Fosse kept his health battles private. Most of his colleagues did not know about his cancer battle until this year.
“Ray is a private person,” Korach said. “I respect the fact that this is what he wanted in the end and I respect that.”
Fans hung banners on the Coliseum bleacher fence, lending their support to Fosse’s recovery. After receiving the news of his passing, fans on social media expressed grief and gratitude for Fosse. Broadcasters can become close friends of the fans they talk to, says Korach.
“He was in people’s homes for 36 years,” he said. “He was part of the family, and I don’t think it’s exaggerating, that people felt that way about him.”
A close friend of the entire A’s fan base, Fosse was particularly close to people in A’s organization as well. Radio Color commentator Vince Coutronio tweeted:
“Ray welcomed me on the first day and I am forever grateful. Nothing but great memories. Lots of stories and laughter and baseball. It’s a huge hole in A’s family and booth. Prayers to Carol, Lindsay, Nikki and grandchildren. Love you re.”
Fosse’s television broadcast partner Glenn Kuiper spoke earlier this year about seeing Fosse’s health deteriorate.
“He just doesn’t talk about that stuff. I sat next to him for 18 years, so I know it. I used to ask him several times, ‘Are you okay?’ But I know how he is. He’s going to say, ‘I’m fine,'” Kuiper said in August.
Kuiper has also seen his older brother and San Francisco Giants broadcaster Duane Kuiper undergo chemotherapy this year. He always thought of Fosse as a brother as well.
“Ray transcends generations,” Korach said. “I don’t think I knew anyone who loved baseball more than Ray.”