Longtime A's broadcaster Ray Fosse dies after 16-year battle with cancer

Ray Fosse, a former MLB catcher and longtime broadcaster for the Oakland Athletics, died after a battle with cancer on Wednesday. He was 74.

Fosse stepped away from his duties with A's in August, revealing he had been fighting cancer for the last 16 years. His wife Carol shared the news in a statement through his own website:

It is with a heavy heart that Carol Fosse, Ray Fosse’s wife of 51 years, shares the sad news that Ray Fosse lost his battle to cancer on October 13, 2021 after silently fighting it for the past 16 years. Carol and daughters, Nikki and Lindsey, send their love out to family, friends and fans that mourn his loss with them.

The A's released their own statement mourning Fosse, who had worked as a color commentator for the club since 1986. 

Oakland A’s statement on Ray Fosse: pic.twitter.com/88iUI6XEL3

— Oakland A's (@Athletics) October 14, 2021

A native of Marion, Illinois, Fosse entered professional baseball as a first-round draft pick for the Cleveland Indians in 1965. He made his MLB debut in 1967 and found his first starting role for Cleveland in 1970, the first of his two career All-Star selections.

His appearance in that 1970 All-Star Game would be marred by his infamous home plate collision with Pete Rose, which left Fosse with a fractured shoulder. Even though the incident left pain in his shoulder for the rest of his career, Fosse said he wasn't bitter toward Rose.

Fosse was traded to the A's in 1973 and helped the team win two World Series championships in 1973 and 1974. His career would also see him spend time with the Seattle Mariners and Milwaukee Brewers, until his retirement in 1980. He finished his career with 758 hits, 61 homers, a .256/.306/.367 slash line and two Gold Glove Awards.

Fosse joined the A's broadcast booth in 1986 and was part of one of the most well-regarded crews in baseball in recent years, alongside play-by-play announcer Glen Kuiper.

News of Fosse's death was met with an outpouring of tributes from peers and fans:

Heartbroken to hear of baseball legend Ray Fosse’s passing. He was so fun to be around. I’ll always remember his powerful handshakes, positive energy & his storytelling – he had a way of making you feel connected to the history of baseball and the Oakland A’s. We’ll miss you Ray. https://t.co/YObJU6NS30

— Sean Doolittle (@whatwouldDOOdo) October 14, 2021

I’m so sorry to learn that Ray Fosse has died. I learned as much or more baseball from him over 25 years than maybe anyone else in the game. His tremendous insights and his passion for the A’s will be so missed. A very sad day for the organization and for Major League Baseball.

— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) October 14, 2021

Liam Hendriks doesn’t do Twitter, but he posted this on Instagram about Ray Fosse pic.twitter.com/4aUpQp9mIv

— James Fegan (@JRFegan) October 14, 2021

Such terrible news. Ray Fosse, synonymous with A's baseball since the '70s, has died. Well respected and liked around the game, a friendly face and voice at the ballpark, always willing to share his knowledge and stories. He'll be missed by all.

— John Shea (@JohnSheaHey) October 14, 2021

So sorry to hear about the passing of Ray Fosse! I knew him as a rival and friend. Loved baseball so much and he always had the biggest smile and strongest handshake! He will be missed!#[email protected]

— Jim Palmer (@Jim22Palmer) October 14, 2021

I can’t think of a better A’s storyteller than Ray Fosse. He was one-of-a-kind and will be missed.

— Alex Coffey (@byalexcoffey) October 14, 2021

The epitome of what it meant to be an A. Ray Fosse will never be forgotten. pic.twitter.com/QPMVN4b6B3

— MLBPAA (@MLBPAA) October 14, 2021

He taught me baseball growing up when I was a fan, and whenever I asked, he taught me baseball years later when I was a writer. RIP Ray Fosse. https://t.co/v1RlIpSWZ4

— Marc Carig (@MarcCarig) October 14, 2021

Very sad news. The passing of A’s broadcaster and former major leaguer Ray Fosse. Ray was very generous with his time. We had good times talking baseball. #RIPRay

— Ken Singleton (@29alltime) October 14, 2021

Ray Fosse was a part of my baseball childhood and getting to meet him as a professional later in life was an honor. I’ll never forget the kindness he showed to my boys after their father passed or that he always asked about them when I saw him. https://t.co/GdDXUfGQ88

— Melissa Lockard (@melissalockard) October 14, 2021

I am so heartbroken. Ray Fosse was such a special person for not only myself but for the @Athletics organization. Rest In Peace my friend. We love you!

— Josh Reddick (@RealJoshReddick) October 14, 2021

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