Ray Fosse served as a pillar of the Athletics organization for decades, and now his memory will live on as part of the Oakland Coliseum this season with an outfield wall sign honoring the late broadcaster.
During a pregame ceremony ahead of the A’s Friday night matchup with the Cleveland Guardians, the Oakland broadcast crew of Dallas Braden, Glen Kuiper, Ken Korach and Vince Cotroneo gathered in left center field to unveil the new decal celebrating their beloved colleague.
Fosse passed away in October at age 74 after a 16-year battle with cancer. The new commemorative sign is one of several ways NBC Sports California and the A’s are honoring him throughout the season, along with Fosse patches stitched onto the team’s white home jerseys this year.
Now the green and gold “Ray” sign watches over the outfield, complete with a depiction of his microphone -- the same image featured on the jersey patch.
Before becoming the A’s color analyst for television and radio in 1986, Fosse had a successful MLB career as a catcher spanning 12 years and several teams. He was traded to Oakland ahead of the 1973 season, where he won both of his World Series titles with the early 1970s dynasty after guiding the A’s pitching staff to back-to-back championships.
Guardians manager Terry Francona, who served as the A’s bench coach in 2003, reflected on what his “good friend” Fosse meant to him ahead of Friday’s game.
“The first thing I thought of when I was coming in here today was that I wouldn’t see 'Foss.' That was like a kick in the stomach,” Francona said. “I was so fortunate in ‘03 when I was a bench coach here. Got to know Ray and got to know him real well, where I consider him a really good friend. … It’s that type of guy where you could see him once or twice a year, but it was like you just saw him yesterday.
“I’m not the only person that says that. … If you tried to say something not so good about him, you’re reaching because he’s a pretty wonderful guy.”
Fosse was a two-time MLB All-Star, two-time World Series champion and two-time Gold Glove winner. He won an Emmy Award for broadcasting in 2003 and was nominated for a Ford C. Frick award in 2004.
The legendary broadcaster was enshrined in Oakland history forever when he was posthumously inducted into the Athletics Hall of Fame last November, and fans and players alike will be reminded of Fosse's legacy when they look to the outfield at the Coliseum this season.