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Retro Orioles recap: National League wins All-Star Game on violent collision at home plate

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Senior circuit takes eighth straight Midsummer Classic after Cincinnati’s Pete Rose bowls over Cleveland’s Ray Fosse in the 12th inning.

Pete Rose Colliding with Catcher Ray Fosse

This game took place on July 14, 1970. It is being recapped today as part of Camden Chat’s retro recap series while MLB is on hold due to coronavirus.

Last night marked the 41st edition of the Major League Baseball All-Star Game, and the ending set it apart from any of the 40 that preceded it.

A down-to-the-wire, extra-inning contest was decided in stunning fashion when Cincinnati’s Pete Rose bowled over Cleveland’s Ray Fosse in a violent play at the plate in the bottom of the 12th inning, giving the National League a 5-4 victory over the American League.

The Orioles had seven All-Stars on the team, and were represented well. Brooks Robinson had two hits and drove in two runs for the American League, and Jim Palmer got the start and pitched three shutout innings.

But the play that got the loudest reaction from the Riverfront Stadium crowd was the last one. Joe Torre and Roberto Clemente started the bottom of the 12th with outs, but Rose, the hometown favorite, singled, and Billy Grabarkewitz followed with another hit to move Rose into scoring position.

That brought up the Cubs’ Hickman, who singled to center, which sent the hard-charging Rose to the plate. Rose, who’s earned the nickname “Charlie Hustle” for his aggressive style of play, never let up as he crashed into Fosse, who was protecting the plate and waiting for the throw.

While Rose was congratulated immediately by happy teammates, Fosse was slow in getting up from the hit, an uncharacteristically rough play in the exhibition setting. X-rays after the game didn’t show any damage, but Fosse was in noticeable discomfort both following the play and after leaving the field.

The run capped off an impressive rally for the National League. The American League took a 4-1 lead — with two runs coming on a Brooks Robinson triple — into the ninth, but the AL bullpen couldn’t wrap up the win. Oakland’s Catfish Hunter came on to replace Jim Perry for the save, but San Francisco’s Dick Dietz welcomed him with a home run to start the inning.

The Mets’ Bud Harrelson singled to left, and after Hunter got an out, Cincinnati’s Joe Morgan singled to right to put two runners on. San Francisco’s Willie McCovey then singled off reliever Fritz Peterson, scoring Harrelson, and Morgan came home with the tying run when Pittsburgh star Clemente lined out to center.

Neither team was able to get a runner to third in extra innings until the NL’s winning rally in the 12th. Minnesota’s Tony Oliva and Commissioner’s Trophy recipient Carl Yastrzemski of the Red Sox (four hits, tying an All-Star Game record) had doubles in the 11th and 12th, but were both stranded at second.

For much of the game, it appeared the American League would finally end the seven-game losing streak to the National League with which it entered the contest. Palmer, the Orioles’ ace, was impressive while getting the start, striking out three in his three innings and allowing only a walk and a single to Don Kessinger.

The AL broke through on the board in the sixth. Fosse singled to right, Sam McDowell bunted him up, and after Aparicio flew out, Yastrzemski singled to right-center field to bring in Fosse for a 1-0 lead.

The AL leaned on its Baltimore contingent to double the lead an inning later. Though Boog Powell led off and was retired, Brooks Robinson and Davey Johnson, the starter at second base, sandwiched an Oliva walk with singles to load the bases. That brought up Fosse, who flew to deep center to score Robinson and make it 2-0.

Robinson has built a reputation as the best defensive third baseman in the game, but it was his bat that stayed hot for the AL in the eighth. Yastrzemski and Detroit’s Willie Horton had one-out singles, and after Amos Otis flew out, Robinson smacked an offering from St. Louis’s Bob Gibson to deep center for a triple, scoring both runners and making it 4-1.

After Perry retired the side in order in the eighth, the AL was three outs from the elusive victory. The National League, however, wasn’t finished.

Robinson and Palmer had the best days of the players sent by the AL East-leading Orioles. Johnson added a hit, but Baltimore sluggers Powell and Frank Robinson each went 0-for-3, with Robinson striking out twice.

Palmer was the only Orioles pitcher to make it to the Riverfront mound. Teammates Dave McNally and Mike Cuellar were also named to the team, but neither got the call from Earl Weaver — their own manager, who may have been trying to keep his Baltimore club’s best arms fresh — to take the hill last night.

Baltimore will resume the season when it welcomes Minnesota to Memorial Stadium on Thursday. The game will start a series between the American League’s two best teams; the Orioles are 54-33 and lead Detroit by six games in the East Division, while the 54-28 Twins lead the California Angels by five games in the West.