John Junior Roseboro (May 13, 1933 - August 16, 2002) was a Major League Baseball catcher and coach. He 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 stay.
Read "40 years later, The Fight resonates in a positive way," by Gwen Knapp, free from the San Francisco Chronicle and sfgate.com.
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.
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.
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 said 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.
The Marichal Incident
Roseboro will always be remembered as the player that Dominican pitcher Juan Marichal clubbed over the head with a bat during a game between the Dodgers and San Francisco Giants at Candlestick Park on August 22, 1965.
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. Then, the future Hall-of-Famer hit Roseboro over the head with his bat twice, 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 nurture 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, fined him with $1,750, 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 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. After years of bitterness, they became close friends in the 1980s, getting together occasionally at Old-Timers games, golf tournaments and charity events.
* 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. --Johnny Roseboro