Ray Fosse, Former MLB Star, Dead at 74

Ray Fosse, a former MLB catcher who won two World Series with the Oakland Athletics, died on Wednesday, the team announced. He was 74 years old. Carol Fosse, Ray Fosse's wife of 51 years, announced that he died after a 16-year bout with cancer. Also a broadcaster for the Athletics, Ray Fosse announced in August that he's stepping away from the broadcast booth to focus on his health. At the time, Fosse's cancer battle was not widely known, leading to massive support from baseball fans all over the country. 

"The Oakland A's are heartbroken to learn of the passing of Ray Fosse," the team said in a statement. "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. We send our deepest condolences to Carol, Nikki and Lindsey, his family and friends during this difficult time. We'll miss you, Ray."  

Fosse began his MLB career with the Cleveland Indians in 1967. He made his first All-Star game in 1970 and is known for being in a collision with Pete Rose at home plate during the final play of the game. Fosse suffered injuries that would plague him for his entire career. However, Fosse would make the All-Star game again in 1971 before being traded to the Athletics in 1973. He would help Oakland win the World Series in 1973 and 1974 before being traded back to the Indians in 1976. Fosse also spent time with the Seattle Mariners and Milwaukee Brewers before being released by the Brewers before the start of the 1980 season. He finished his career with 61 home runs and 342 runs batted in with a .256 batting average.

"We are saddened to learn of the passing of Ray Fosse. In 8 seasons with Cleveland, Ray became a fan favorite," the Indians said in a statement. "The two-time All-Star and Gold Glover was selected as a member of the Indians Top 100 players in 2001. Our thoughts go out to his family and friends during this time."

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Fosse became a collar commentator for the Athletics on NBC Sports California in 1986. "NBC Sports California is deeply saddened to learn of Ray Fosse's passing," said the television network as part of the A's statement. "Our thoughts are with his wife, Carol, his daughters, Nikki and Lindsey, and his family as we mourn the loss of a truly exceptional colleague and friend. Ray's deep connection and significant impact on NBC Sports California, the A's franchise and the fanbase over a half-century as a player, broadcaster and ambassador will endure well into the future."