John Roseboro

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Johnny Roseboro
Johnny Roseboro 1957.png
Roseboro in 1957.
Born: (1933-05-13)May 13, 1933
Ashland, Ohio
Died: August 16, 2002(2002-08-16) (aged 69)
Los Angeles, California
Batted: Left Threw: Right
MLB debut
June 14, 1957, for the Brooklyn Dodgers
Last MLB appearance
August 11, 1970, for the Washington Senators
MLB statistics
Batting average .249
Home runs 104
Runs batted in 548
Career highlights and awards

John Junior Roseboro (May 13, 1933 – August 16, 2002) was a Major League Baseball catcher and coach, who was born in Ashland, Ohio.


A left-handed-hitter, Roseboro had a lifetime .249 batting average with 104 home runs and 548 RBI in 1585 games played with the Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers (1957–67), Minnesota Twins (1968–69) and Washington Senators (1970). He was a Gold Glove Award winner twice and a four-time All-Star during a fourteen-year career.

On June 14, 1957, Roseboro succeeded Roy Campanella, whose playing career was ended the following January by a paralyzing automobile accident, as the Dodgers' full-time catcher. He also was the Dodgers' starting catcher in the 1959, 1963, 1965, and 1966 World Series, with his team winning the championship the first three times. In the Series, Roseboro was a .157 hitter with one home run and seven RBI in 21 games. The home run was against the New York Yankees in Game One of the 1963 World Series off Whitey Ford.

After completing his playing career with Washington, Roseboro coached for the Senators (1971) and California Angels (1972–74). Later, he served as a minor league batting instructor (1977) and catching instructor (1987) for the Dodgers. Roseboro and his wife, Barbara Fouch Roseboro, also owned a Beverly Hills public relations firm.

Roseboro appeared as a plainclothes officer in the 1967 Dragnet TV movie. He also appeared as himself in the 1962 film Experiment in Terror along with Don Drysdale and Wally Moon, and as himself in the 1963 Mister Ed episode "Leo Durocher Meets Mister Ed.

Chevrolet was one of the sponsors of the Dodgers' radio coverage in the mid-1960s. The song "See the USA in Your Chevrolet," made famous by Dinah Shore in the '50s, was sung in Chevrolet commercials by Roseboro and other Dodger players. Dodger announcer Jerry Doggett once joked that Roseboro was a singer "whose singing career was destined to go absolutely nowhere."

Johnny Roseboro died in Los Angeles, California at age of 69.

Marichal incident[edit]

Roseboro was involved in an altercation with Dominican pitcher Juan Marichal during a game between the Dodgers and San Francisco Giants at Candlestick Park on August 22, 1965.[1] Earlier in the game, Marichal had knocked down Dodgers Maury Wills and Ron Fairly with brushback pitches. When Marichal came up to bat against Sandy Koufax in the third inning, Koufax wouldn't retaliate, but his catcher, Roseboro, apparently wanted to. Roseboro returned Koufax's pitches dangerously close to Marichal's face (which is extremely difficult for a right-hand throwing catcher to do to a right-handed batter). Marichal responded by hitting Roseboro over the head with his bat two times, opening a two-inch gash that sent blood flowing down the catcher's face that would require 14 stitches. The Giants and the Dodgers, who nurtured a heated rivalry with each other dating back to their days together in the New York market, and who were both strong contenders for the 1965 National League pennant, cleared their respective benches and began a 14-minute brawl on the field before Koufax, Giants captain Willie Mays and other peacemakers restored order.

After the incident, NL president Warren Giles suspended Marichal for eight games (two starts), fined him a then-NL record $1,750[2] (equivalent to $13,141 as of 2015),[3] and also forbade him from traveling to Dodger Stadium for the final, crucial two-game series of the season. The Giants won both of them in the middle of a 14-game streak, but the Dodgers got even hotter later to win the pennant, and eventually defeated the Minnesota Twins in seven games in the World Series.

Marichal contended Roseboro returned a pitch close to his nose. Roseboro said he did nothing to provoke Marichal's reaction and later sued him for $110,000 in damages. Marichal didn't face the Dodgers again until May 3, 1966. He got the victory and Roseboro hit 1 for 4.

Dodger fans were angry at Marichal for several years afterward, and reacted violently when he was signed by the Dodgers in 1975. However, by this time Roseboro had forgiven Marichal, and personally appealed to the fans to calm down.

After years of bitterness, Roseboro and Marichal became close friends in the 1980s, getting together occasionally at Old-Timers games, golf tournaments and charity events. Roseboro also personally appealed to the Baseball Writers Association of America not to hold the incident against Marichal after it passed him over for election to the Hall of Fame two years in a row. Marichal did get elected in 1983, and thanked Roseboro in his induction speech. In 2002, after Roseboro's death, Marichal served as an honorary pallbearer and told the gathered, "Johnny's forgiving me was one of the best things that happened in my life. I wish I could have had John Roseboro as my catcher."[4]


  • About the Juan Marichal incident: "There were no hard feelings on my part, and I thought if that was made public, people would believe that this was really over with. So I saw him at a Dodger old-timers' game, and we posed for pictures together, and I actually visited him in the Dominican. The next year, he was in the Hall of Fame. Hey, over the years, you learn to forget things." [5]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ The Battle Of San Francisco, by Jack Mann, Sports Illustrated, August 30, 1965
  2. ^ "MLBN Remembers ("Incident at Candlestick")". MLBN-tv. November 17, 2011. 
  3. ^ Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–. Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved November 10, 2015.
  4. ^ Plaschke, Bill (22 August 2015). "Fifty years after Giants' Juan Marichal hit Dodgers' John Roseboro with a bat, all is forgiven". 
  5. ^ ESPN, "Baseball Brawls"