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  • marichal and roseboro

    i am curious of what people think about marichal hitting roseboro in 1965.
    many thanx.
    "you don't have to burn books to destroy a culture. just get people to stop reading them." -ray bradbury

  • #2
    The Dominican Dandy was obviously wrong for doing this even though Roseboro provoked him. He broke the baseball "code" for one. Aren't you supposed to duke it with fist-a-cuffs with opposing players? Also, Rosoboro could have suffered a serious head injury and that would be a whole different ballgame (pardon the pun). Here's a good article from 2005. Roseboro died in August of 2002.

    40 years later, The Fight resonates in a positive way

    Gwen Knapp
    Sunday, August 21, 2005

    Barbara Fouch-Roseboro can't begin to count the number of times her husband had to relive one of the ugliest moments in baseball history. In restaurants, over the phone with clients, at the hospital where he lay dying, John Roseboro couldn't escape the questions.

    "People would come up to us at dinner and say 'Please tell us about the fight with Marichal,' " the catcher's widow said recently from her office in Beverly Hills. "He would always accept his responsibility for that incident. He'd say: 'I provoked it. I threw that ball too close to Juan's ear.' "

    Tomorrow will be the 40th anniversary of the day that Marichal, one of the greatest pitchers of his generation, hit Roseboro with a bat, starting a 14-minute brawl between the Dodgers and Giants at Candlestick Park. The fight ended when Willie Mays crossed rivalry lines to usher a bleeding Roseboro to the Dodgers' dugout.

    For both Marichal and Roseboro, though, the incident never really ended. That day, Aug. 22, 1965, defined them in caricature, Marichal as violent perpetrator and Roseboro as victim. They were neither. But famous photographs from the brawl, showing Marichal with his bat poised to strike the catcher, created an indelible image. The pictures appeared in Life magazine and can still be purchased as baseball memorabilia.

    Three years ago, they were reprinted on the back of an eight-page funeral program for Roseboro. Inside the program, Marichal appears again. His name is on the list of honorary pallbearers and speakers who memorialized Roseboro.

    Roseboro's "forgiving (me) was one of the best things that happened in my life,'' Marichal told the other mourners.

    Over the years, the two had transcended the moment that linked them in baseball infamy. They had become friendly, genuinely respectful. In the 1980s, as a gesture of goodwill, Roseboro and his family flew to the Dominican Republic for a charity golf tournament hosted by Marichal.

    "It doesn't surprise me that he would do something like that,'' said John Werhas, a former Dodger who is now a pastor in Southern California. "John Roseboro was probably as nice a human being as you'd ever meet.''

    Roseboro's widow speaks almost as fondly of Marichal. "After my husband passed away, Juan would call to check up on me and my daughter every six months or so,'' she said.

    Of the two, Marichal was easily the more famous. Roseboro had the batting average of a journeyman, .249 for his career. But he made four All-Star teams and won renown for his toughness, his quiet leadership and his ability to read pitchers. Those things all worked against him at Candlestick Park 40 years ago.

    After Marichal had knocked down Maury Wills and Ron Fairly in the top of the third, Roseboro signaled for Sandy Koufax to retaliate in the bottom of the inning. It didn't work. "Koufax was constitutionally incapable of throwing at anyone's head,'' Roseboro wrote in his 1978 autobiography, "so I decided to take matters into my own hands.''

    When Marichal came to the plate, one of Roseboro's return throws to Koufax whistled by Marichal's head. When Marichal complained, Roseboro squared off for a fight. Then ... pandemonium.

    Marichal was suspended for eight games and fined $1,750. Roseboro filed a lawsuit, asking for $110,000 in damages, but settled for about $7,000. He reportedly needed 14 stitches to close the wound on his head.

    The peacemaking process started when Marichal went to Los Angeles to finish his career in 1975. Roseboro, then retired, made it clear that he held no grudge, easing Marichal's transition into Dodger blue.

    At some point in the late '70s, the two met at an old-timers game and, for the first time, discussed the fight.

    "We shook hands,'' Roseboro wrote in the autobiography, "Glory Days with the Dodgers, and Other Days with Others,'' "and I said maybe we shouldn't because now they wouldn't have anything to write about.''

    A few years later, Marichal became eligible for the Hall of Fame, but missed election on his first two ballots. Fouch-Roseboro remembers her husband talking with Marichal on the phone after the second time he was snubbed. They were concerned that memories of the fight might be standing in Marichal's way.

    "John said, 'Barbara, can you believe that people are still holding this against Juan?' " she said. " 'That's not right.' "

    At the time, Roseboro was helping his wife run a public-relations company, Fouch-Roseboro & Associates, that she had originally established in Atlanta. They vowed to give Marichal any help he needed. In the next year, Roseboro accepted Marichal's invitation to the Dominican, and the Hall of Fame voters accepted Marichal.

    "We had a wonderful time there with Juan and his family,'' Fouch-Roseboro said. "My daughter (Morgan Nicole) went off to play with the Marichal children almost the minute we got there, and we barely saw them again the whole trip. They were having so much fun together.''

    Eventually, Roseboro would return to the Dominican as manager of the Licey winter-ball team in Santo Domingo, and Marichal remembers driving over to the stadium to see him.

    "We'd talk baseball,'' Marichal said last month, when he visited San Francisco for the ceremony to retire Gaylord Perry's number. "I asked him how did he like my country, and he always said very positive things.''

    For obvious reasons, Marichal does not like talking about the fight. "It's not who I am,'' he said, and plenty of baseball people agree.

    Fred Claire, a longtime Dodgers executive, remembers the dignified way Marichal left the game. After struggling through his first two starts as a Dodger in 1975, he asked Claire to join him on a visit to the office of team owner Peter O'Malley.

    "He said, 'I can't take your money anymore if I can't pitch the way I want to,' '' Claire said. "It was remarkable. Most people would have stayed the rest of the year just for the money.''

    He and Roseboro, such a spare talker that his teammates called him "Gabby, '' had a lot in common. "They were both men of great pride, and they took baseball very, very seriously,'' Claire said.

    In the last years of his life, when heart trouble, two strokes and a case of prostate cancer put him in the hospital for long spells, "you never heard a word of complaint from him,'' his wife said.

    He died at age 69, and his funeral drew dignitaries from many fields. Former Atlanta Mayor Maynard Jackson, former L.A. police chief Bernard Parks and retired U.S. Rep Mervyn Dymally were all listed as speakers. But no one made as much of an impression as Marichal.

    When Barbara sent out word that Roseboro was dying, Marichal was one of the many former players to call and offer support. "He said he would be praying for John,'' she said. When she invited him to speak at the funeral, he didn't hesitate.

    According to an account written by Claire, the emotional high point came when Marichal told the congregation: "I wish I could have had John Roseboro as my catcher.''

    Koufax spoke later and turned to Marichal to say, "You would have loved pitching to John Roseboro."
    Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis

    Comment


    • #3
      Incidents like this one almost always have a "back story. Here's one version of what led to this brawl -- a version that in my opinion explains, but doesn't excuse what Marichal did.

      "On August 22nd 1965, Juan Marichal faced Sandy Koufax in the midst of a heated pennant race.

      The Giants and Dodgers had almost brawled just two days earlier over catcher's interference calls, when the batter tips the catcher's mitt as he swings. Los Angeles star shortstop Maury Wills had allegedly tipped the Giant's catcher's mitt with his bat on purpose in that contest, and Juan Marichal's best friend, outfielder Matty Alou had in turn tipped the edge of Dodger's catcher John Roseboro's facemask with his bat. Roseboro, in retaliation, had nearly hit Alou in the head with his toss back to the pitcher.

      This set the stage two days later for an ugly incident in Juan Marichal's life, a black eye on what was otherwise a brilliant Hall of Fame career.


      In the game of August 22nd, Marichal had knocked down Wills and Dodger Ron Fairly with brush back pitches when Roseboro supposedly asked Koufax to hit Marichal with a pitch. Tensions were high and when Koufax refused, Roseboro's return throw came close to hitting Marichal in the head.

      The resulting name calling erupted into a melee when the irate Dodger receiver ripped off his mask and stood up. Suddenly, Marichal struck the catcher on the head with his bat and one of the most violent brawls in Major League Baseball history started. Willie Mays of the Giants helped the stunned Roseboro, now suffering from a concussion, to the dugout, while Dodger Bob Miller went after Marichal. Matty Alou punched Miller, and second baseman Tito Fuentes of the Giants threatened to use his own bat on the Dodgers. Roseboro would sue Marichal, but eventually dropped the lawsuit. Marichal was fined $1750, suspended for a week, and missed two important starts as the Giants finished a scant two games behind their archrivals.

      As the years passed, the two initial combatants, Marichal and Roseboro, became good friends, and Marichal always lamented the fact that he had used his bat in such a way. The entire episode would tarnish Juan Marichal's legacy, as one of the greatest hurlers in baseball history."

      Comment


      • #4
        Maybe not "good friends," but friendly, nevertheless:

        "Barbara Fouch-Roseboro can't begin to count the number of times her husband had to relive one of the ugliest moments in baseball history. In restaurants, over the phone with clients, at the hospital where he lay dying, John Roseboro couldn't escape the questions.

        "People would come up to us at dinner and say 'Please tell us about the fight with Marichal,' " the catcher's widow said recently from her office in Beverly Hills. "He would always accept his responsibility for that incident. He'd say: 'I provoked it. I threw that ball too close to Juan's ear.' "

        Tomorrow will be the 40th anniversary of the day that Marichal, one of the greatest pitchers of his generation, hit Roseboro with a bat, starting a 14-minute brawl between the Dodgers and Giants at Candlestick Park. The fight ended when Willie Mays crossed rivalry lines to usher a bleeding Roseboro to the Dodgers' dugout.

        For both Marichal and Roseboro, though, the incident never really ended. That day, Aug. 22, 1965, defined them in caricature, Marichal as violent perpetrator and Roseboro as victim. They were neither. But famous photographs from the brawl, showing Marichal with his bat poised to strike the catcher, created an indelible image. The pictures appeared in Life magazine and can still be purchased as baseball memorabilia.

        Three years ago, they were reprinted on the back of an eight-page funeral program for Roseboro. Inside the program, Marichal appears again. His name is on the list of honorary pallbearers and speakers who memorialized Roseboro.

        Roseboro's "forgiving (me) was one of the best things that happened in my life,'' Marichal told the other mourners.

        Over the years, the two had transcended the moment that linked them in baseball infamy. They had become friendly, genuinely respectful. In the 1980s, as a gesture of goodwill, Roseboro and his family flew to the Dominican Republic for a charity golf tournament hosted by Marichal.

        "It doesn't surprise me that he would do something like that,'' said John Werhas, a former Dodger who is now a pastor in Southern California. "John Roseboro was probably as nice a human being as you'd ever meet.''

        Roseboro's widow speaks almost as fondly of Marichal. "After my husband passed away, Juan would call to check up on me and my daughter every six months or so,'' she said.

        Of the two, Marichal was easily the more famous. Roseboro had the batting average of a journeyman, .249 for his career. But he made four All-Star teams and won renown for his toughness, his quiet leadership and his ability to read pitchers. Those things all worked against him at Candlestick Park 40 years ago.

        After Marichal had knocked down Maury Wills and Ron Fairly in the top of the third, Roseboro signaled for Sandy Koufax to retaliate in the bottom of the inning. It didn't work. "Koufax was constitutionally incapable of throwing at anyone's head,'' Roseboro wrote in his 1978 autobiography, "so I decided to take matters into my own hands.''

        When Marichal came to the plate, one of Roseboro's return throws to Koufax whistled by Marichal's head. When Marichal complained, Roseboro squared off for a fight. Then ... pandemonium.

        Marichal was suspended for eight games and fined $1,750. Roseboro filed a lawsuit, asking for $110,000 in damages, but settled for about $7,000. He reportedly needed 14 stitches to close the wound on his head.

        The peacemaking process started when Marichal went to Los Angeles to finish his career in 1975. Roseboro, then retired, made it clear that he held no grudge, easing Marichal's transition into Dodger blue.

        At some point in the late '70s, the two met at an old-timers game and, for the first time, discussed the fight.

        "We shook hands,'' Roseboro wrote in the autobiography, "Glory Days with the Dodgers, and Other Days with Others,'' "and I said maybe we shouldn't because now they wouldn't have anything to write about.''

        A few years later, Marichal became eligible for the Hall of Fame, but missed election on his first two ballots. Fouch-Roseboro remembers her husband talking with Marichal on the phone after the second time he was snubbed. They were concerned that memories of the fight might be standing in Marichal's way.

        "John said, 'Barbara, can you believe that people are still holding this against Juan?' " she said. " 'That's not right.' "


        At the time, Roseboro was helping his wife run a public-relations company, Fouch-Roseboro & Associates, that she had originally established in Atlanta. They vowed to give Marichal any help he needed. In the next year, Roseboro accepted Marichal's invitation to the Dominican, and the Hall of Fame voters accepted Marichal.

        "We had a wonderful time there with Juan and his family,'' Fouch-Roseboro said. "My daughter (Morgan Nicole) went off to play with the Marichal children almost the minute we got there, and we barely saw them again the whole trip. They were having so much fun together.''

        Eventually, Roseboro would return to the Dominican as manager of the Licey winter-ball team in Santo Domingo, and Marichal remembers driving over to the stadium to see him.

        "We'd talk baseball,'' Marichal said last month, when he visited San Francisco for the ceremony to retire Gaylord Perry's number. "I asked him how did he like my country, and he always said very positive things.''

        Comment


        • #5
          rzt: The [cockfighting] incident did nothing to tarnish Marichal's reputation as a great pitcher. It did, however, enhance his reputation as a despicable human being.

          your position is that for the past 40 years marichal has had the reputation of being despicable?
          "you don't have to burn books to destroy a culture. just get people to stop reading them." -ray bradbury

          Comment


          • #6
            When this incident happened it got a lot of notoriety, but the Dodgers - Giants were always close to something violent occurring. The current "big" rivalry involving the BoSox and Yanks is a very watered down version of what the Dodgers and Giants had going.

            And Juan Marichal is not a despicable human being because of this incident. He is just a guy that went too far and was sternly punished. And the cock fighting thing is way overblown. Just because you don't like something from another culture doesn't make it despicable.
            Buck O'Neil: The Monarch of Baseball

            Comment


            • #7
              Then you don't know Juan very well Ralph.

              His attack on Roseboro was not only reprehensible, it likely cost the Giants the pennant that year. And for that incident he's lived a lifetime of shame. However, he's clearly admitted his remorse and Roseboro forgave him a LONG time ago. Since then he's spent a lot of time in the Giants organization working with kids and scouting and is pretty much beloved by the organization and by it's fans, me included. So you are welcome to your feelings on the matter, it's just not shared by very many people who know Juan.

              I've watched a lot of pitchers in the last 40 years, and I'd rather watch a game he pitched than any other pitcher during that time. A true artist on the mound.
              “Well, I like to say I’m completely focused, right? I mean, the game’s on the line. It’s not like I’m thinking about what does barbecue Pop Chips and Cholula taste like. Because I already know that answer — it tastes friggin’ awesome!"--Brian Wilson

              Comment


              • #8
                wcoab: your position is that for the past 40 years marichal has had the reputation of being despicable?

                rzt: That pretty well sums it up, sports fans. He hit a man on the head with a baseball bat. Scores at eleven...

                marichal's entire life story and the marichal/roseboro incident can not be understood merely by selecting two book ends, however significant.
                "sports fans" and "scores at eleven" somewhat trivialize an otherwise interesting story.
                "you don't have to burn books to destroy a culture. just get people to stop reading them." -ray bradbury

                Comment

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