by Zach Vogel | The Wild Card
On this day in history, Pete Rose conducted one of the most iconic slides the game has ever seen. The slide took place in the 12th inning of the 1970 All-Star game July 14, 1970, at Riverfront Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio, home of the “Big Red Machine.”
The game featured some of baseball’s all-time greats, including Carl Yastrzemski, Harmon Killebrew, Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, Johnny Bench, Tom Seaver, Rod Carew, Joe Torre, Roberto Clemente and Jim Fregosi. Heading into the bottom of the ninth inning, the NL All-Stars were down 4-1. They staged a comeback in the ninth, capped off by Clemente’s sacrifice fly to tie the game at four and sending it into extras.
That set the table for Rose’s famed “take out.”
In the bottom of the 12th, Rose got the ball rolling with a two-out single to center field. He moved to second on a base hit by Billy Grabarkewitz. Jim Hickman then hit a single that sent Rose barreling toward catcher Ray Fosse, standing in his way at the plate.
Charlie Hustle knew how to play the game at only one speed, and that was evident when he lowered his shoulder and planted Fosse on his back, giving the National League the walk-off win. “I did start to slide, but he left me no recourse ’cause there was no place to slide. There’s no sense in ever sliding into a bag if you can’t get to the bag,” Rose later said about the incident.
The collision left Rose missing his next three games with a thigh bruise. As for Fosse, he finished the season, too scared to tell manager Alvin Dark he was in pain. The catcher would find out the next spring that he had fractured and separated his left shoulder, and the injury had healed in the wrong place. Through the years Rose has never apologized for the incident, even saying to Steve Wulf of ESPN, ” I could never have looked my father in the eye again if I hadn’t hit Fosse that day.” The play remains one of the most iconic moments in baseball.
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