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Johnny Roseboro

Johnny Roseboro

Johnny Roseboro for Los Angeles Dodgers

Position(s):
1B, C, CF, LF, OF, 3B
Born:
May 13, 1933
Bats:
Left
Throws:
Right
Height:
5' 11"
Weight:
190 lbs
Major League Debut:
6-14-1957 with BRO
Allstar Selections:
1961 GG, 1966 GG

Johnny Roseboro

Two-time Gold Glove Award-winning catcher Johnny Roseboro enjoyed a long and distinguished career, but the infamous bat-throwing incident with Juan Marichal will most likely be what he'll be remembered for. Roseboro caught two of Sandy Koufax's no-hitters and produced two game-winning hits in the World Series for the Dodgers, and he earned four trips to the All-Star Game. But when he flung a throw to his pitcher to close to Marichal's ear, it precipitated one of baseball's uglier brawls.

Career Batting Stats
G AB H R HR RBI SB AVG SLG OBP OPS OPS+
1585 4847 1206 512 104 548 67 .249 .371 .326 .697 100.1

 

Where does Johnny Roseboro rank among baseball greats?

Johnny Roseboro ranks among the Top 50 all-time at C. Rankings ?

The Marichal Incident
In an August 22, 1965 game between the bitter west coast rivals, after two of his Dodger teammates had been plunked by Giants pitcher Juan Marichal, Johnny Roseboro signalled for Sandy Koufax to drill Marichal.

"Koufax was constitutionally incapable of throwing at anyone's head, so I decided to take matters into my own hands," wrote Roseboro in his autobiography.

What Roseboro did was whip his return throw past Marichal's ear. This infuriated Marichal, who proceeded to use his bat to open a gash in Roseboro's head. Both benches emptied and Marichal was ordered from the game. Roseboro was carried off the field and needed 14 stitches to close the wound in his head.

Unfortunately, the terrifying event was chronicled in great detail by photographers, and the image of Marichal raising his bat over his head to deliver a blow to Roseboro was carried in practically every newspaper in the nation and re-printed in Life magazine.

Marichal was suspended for eight games and fined $1,750 by Major League Baseball. But most damaging to his character, the "Dominican Dandy" was condemned by many in the media. Roseboro, who missed just two games with his head injury (which required 14 stitches), eventually filed a lawsuit, seeking more than $100,000 in damages. Ultimately, Roseboro and Marichal settled, and Juan paid the catcher $7,000.

Always the gentleman, Roseboro accepted his responsibility for the fight.

"I provoked it," Roseboro would recall, "I threw that ball too close to Juan's ear."

In later years, the two men reconciled and became close friends. When Marichal missed making the Hall of Fame by a few votes one year, Roseboro came to his defense and worried that the incident would unfairly taint the pitcher's legacy. When Roseboro died, Marichal spoke at his funeral.

Born
John Junior Roseboro was born on May 13, 1933, in Ashland, OH.

 

Died
August 16, 2002, Los Angeles, CA

 

Batted:  Left
Threw:  Right

 

Major League Debut
June 14,1957

Nine Other Players Who Debuted in 1957
Johnny Roseboro
Roger Maris
Jim Landis
Claude Osteen
Milt Pappas
Lenny Green
Tony Kubek
Jim Gentile
Juan Pizarro

We're not sure if any of his teammates ever called him "Rosie," but that would have been a good nickname. His teammates did call him "Gabby." Not because he was a chatterbox, but in an ironic way because Roseboro was so quiet.

 

Post-Season Appearances
1959 World Series
1963 World Series
1965 World Series
1966 World Series
1969 American League Championship Series

 

Awards and Honors
1961 NL Gold Glove
1966 NL Gold Glove

 

All-Star Selections
1958 NL
1961 NL
1962 NL
1969 AL

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Tagged:
Johnny Roseboro, Juan Marichal, Los Angeles Dodgers

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