Don't be fooled by Major League Baseball's new rule banning collisions at home plate. It is not the Buster Posey Rule. Sure some fans, pundits and MLB officials may formally or informally call it that after the San Francisco Giants star catcher was injured in a collision in 2011. But that is only part of the story. If Major League Baseball truly cared about player safety when it comes to collisions at home plate, the rule would have been implemented in 1971 and dubbed the Ray Fosse Rule.
Pete Rose of the Cincinnati Red plowed into Fosse, then a 23-year-old catcher for the Cleveland Indians, to win the 1970 All-Star Game. The game was meaningless, of course, except to Fosse, who suffered a broken shoulder and whose career never really blossomed after a brilliant start (he later played for the Oakland A's, Seattle Mariners and Milwaukee Brewers, and he's had a pretty fair run as a broadcaster for the Oakland A's).
By the way, here's what Pete Rose told the Associated Press after he found out about the new rule:
“What are they going to do next, you can’t break up a double play? You’re not allowed to pitch inside. The hitters wear more armor than the Humvees in Afghanistan. Now you’re not allowed to be safe at home plate? What’s the game coming to? Evidently the guys making all these rules never played the game of baseball.”
Back to Buster Posey. In 2011, Florida's Scott Cousins plowed into the former Rookie of the Year, bending him backwards. His leg snapped and he writhed in agony behind the plate. His season was over, and the Giants lost perhaps their single most important player. With him, the Giants won the 2010 and 2012 World Series. Without him, they failed to make the playoffs.
Since that 2011 incident, Giants manager Bruce Bochy has pushed for banning collisions at home plate. Obviously, because of Posey. And for the most part, baseball pundits, officials and old-school players said collisions were just part of the game.