General view of Riverfront Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio as the players take the field during batting practice for the 1990 World Series. The 1970 All-Star Game, featuring a key hit by a Cubs player, was played here. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
The 1970 All-Star Game was played on July 14 at Riverfront Stadium in Cincinnati -- at the time, Riverfront was brand-new, having opened just two weeks earlier.
Jim Hickman was a journeyman outfielder who had played for the Mets and Dodgers before being acquired by the Cubs on April 23, 1968 in one of the better deals of the John Holland era; the Cubs also got closer Phil Regan in the trade and gave up two non-entities, John Ellis and Ted Savage. Hickman played part-time for the Cubs in 1968 and 1969 before winning the center field job in spring training in 1970. He proceeded to have an outstanding first half, hitting .335/.439/.622 with 19 HR and 63 RBI at the All-Star break, and was named to his first and only All-Star team.
In the 12th inning, Rose singled with two out and was advanced to second base on a Billy Grabarkewitz single. That brought up Hickman.
Hickman singled, and Rose barreled around third base and crashed into Indians catcher Ray Fosse, scoring the winning run. At the time, Fosse was being mentioned in the same breath as Johnny Bench as far as catchers are concerned; at only 23 he was in his first All-Star game and was hitting .312/.366/.527 at the break with 16 HR and 45 RBI. The collision separated his shoulder (a break was later diagnosed) and Fosse was never quite the same player; he played on, at a lesser level, until 1979. Now an Oakland Athletics broadcaster, Fosse gave an interview two years ago in which he expressed his dismay, almost 40 years later, about the incident:
To this day, Fosse, a broadcaster for the Oakland A's, can hardly stomach the topic. He thinks it derailed his career. His broken left shoulder didn't show up on X-rays at the time, so he continued to play with the injury. It changed his swing permanently. He hit 16 home runs in the first half of 1970 and two after that play.
He would never again hit more than 12 home runs in a season.
"If the play had not occurred, who know what direction my life would have taken?" Fosse told the San Francisco Chronicle a few years ago.
What infuriates Fosse most of all is when Rose blabs to people that the two were out late drinking together the night before. Fosse points out that he attended a dinner with several couples that included Rose. Now 62, Fosse still carries a souvenir of the play he wishes he could discard.
"I still feel it. From time to time, I wake up and it's killing me," he said.
And who was running down the line, clapping happily at this rough play? Why, it's Cubs manager Leo Durocher, who was coaching 3B for the National League. Wasn't enough that Durocher destroyed Randy Hundley's knees (and career) by never resting him; nope, Durocher was happy that another catcher got bowled over. (Yes, I know he was just applauding having won the game. Still.)
You can see the play on the video below, and since it's an official MLB.com video, it won't be pulled from YouTube. Enjoy.