When I grew up in Cincinnati, we always rooted for the players who worked really, really hard, not the ones who were so talented they made everything look easy. If Hillary were a baseball player, she’d be Pete Rose. Minus, of course, the unfortunate gambling issues and the tendency to scratch inappropriate places while standing in the infield.
Pete Rose is famous for another great moment in baseball when he ruined the career of Ray Fosse in the 1970 All-Star game:
The collision with Rose qualifies as Fosse’s baseball legacy. He estimates that he’s spoken at about 400 functions over the years, representing the A’s. Nearly every time, someone asks him about the Rose play.
Fosse, 52, does not dwell on the collision’s effect on his career. At the same time, he wonders. How could he not? Fosse was only 23 at the time, a rising young star for the Cleveland Indians.
He had 16 home runs at the All- Star break in 1970; he also put together a 23-game hitting streak in the first half of the season. That was only Fosse’s second year in the major leagues, so he harbored grand visions.
“It was kind of a magical first half for me,’’ Fosse says.
It was clearly not a magical second half. Unable to lift his left arm above his shoulder without pain, Fosse hit only two home runs in the second half. His season ended September 1, when he broke an index finger.
Fosse played nine more years in the majors — and won two World Series rings with the A’s in 1973 and ‘74 — but was never quite the same. The injury forced him to develop a less powerful swing; he never hit more than 12 homers in a season.
“If the play had not occurred, who knows what direction my life would have taken?’’ Fosse says. “I had 16 homers at the break. Could I have hit 25 to 30 consistently every year?’’
So, is Barack Obama Ray Fosse? Has Hillary so damaged Obama’s standing with her attacks that his political future is forever damaged?