The Oakland A’s family lost an icon on Wednesday.
Longtime broadcaster and former championship player Ray Fosse died at the age of 74, reports his personal website.
Fosse had been battling cancer for 16 years, but didn’t publicly reveal that fact until this past summer when he stepped away from the broadcast booth in August.
His website’s home page offers this message:
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.
Fosse first joined the A’s as a player in 1973. He was acquired before the season in a trade from Cleveland, where he’d been a two-time All-Star. He played three years in Oakland, and won a pair of World Series rings in 1973 and ‘74 as their primary catcher.
After retiring from playing, he moved behind the microphone and began a broadcast career with the A’s in 1986. He spent the next 35 years in the booth as a radio and TV commentator, calling Oakland’s games for more than one-third of a century.
The A’s released a statement about Fosse:
The Oakland A’s are heartbroken to learn of the passing of Ray Fosse. 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.
Reactions from media and fans help illustrate how beloved Fosse was, both within his job and as a wonderful, friendly person in general.
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
Fosse was part of the heart and soul of this club for nearly as long as they’ve been in the Bay Area. An entire generation grew up listening to him on the broadcast, and his voice is etched in many great moments from the team’s history. This is heartbreaking news and he’ll be dearly missed.