Pete Rose

Peter Edward Rose was born in Cincinnati in 1941. He said that when he was growing up he rooted for the Cincinnati Reds just like every other kid in the area. In the summertime of most of his childhood years he played baseball constantly. He also played in high school, however he thinks that he was a better football player than a baseball player in school. He said that he liked to play football more because many people would attend the games, and not many showed up for baseball. "You could throw a bomb into the stands at our (high school) baseball games, and you wouldn't kill anyone". If it wasn't for Pete's uncle, who was a scout for the Cincinnati Reds, he would never nave played baseball. His uncle saw him play in high school and signed him to a contract with the Reds farm system. Pete started out at the class "A" level. He rose up quickly making the starting roster for the Reds opening day team in the same year, 1963. On opening day Pete said he wasn't nervous at all until about 10 minutes before the game. It hit him that he was now starting for the Cincinnati Reds, when not more than a year ago he thought football was his life. He walked in his first at bat, on 4 straight pitches. He said it wasn't because of nerves though, he just didn't want to swing. He got his first hit in the majors three games later, against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Pete played with the Cincinnati Reds from 1963 to 1978, and then he signed with the Philadelphia Phillies. He played in Philly from 1979 to 1983, and then he went to the Montreal Expos for 1984. He stayed only one half year in Montreal, having a desire to retire in his hometown Cincinnati. He played his final two and a half years, 1984-1986, in Cincinnati, and then he retired. He then went on to become the Reds manager from 1987 to 1989.
During his career Pete Rose was called "Charlie Hustle" because of the way that he played. He played a "blue-collar" game of baseball, running out everything, and diving headfirst into bases with regularity. Few players can or will ever match the passion that Pete Rose played with.
Rose was the leadoff hitter for Cincinnati's "big red machine" which was a force in baseball in the 1970's. Pete proved that he could be counted on to hit .300 every season, and play wherever he was needed. Pete's skill and longevity showed through when he broke the 3000 hit barrier, off Steve Rogers in 1978. He was playing for the Reds at the time. 3000 hits is something that a player dreams of getting during his career. It is a milestone that is not reached by about 99% of all baseball players, but it was just a stepping stone for Pete Rose. Since he was not nearing retirement yet, he knew he had a chance at something that was unheralded, the 4000 hit mark. There was only one other person who ever played the game that had 4000 hits, Ty Cobb. To get 4000 hits, and have your name up there with Cobb was probably the best thing that any player could hope for. Rose got to 4000 in the Montreal Expos home opener in 1984. The next mark for Rose was to break Ty Cobb's career hit mark. He did this on September 11th, 1985, in the first inning off San Diego's Eric Show. Rose was playing for Cincinnati at the time. He admits that when he went into the dugout after that hit, it was the only time he ever cried on a baseball field. "I'm a tough S.O.B., but I just couldn't take it" said Rose following his crowning achievement. There are now only two players that have over 4000 hits. Ty Cobb and Pete Rose are the two, and it will be a long while before a third name is added to that list.


It is very clear when you look at the stats and the records that Pete Rose owns that he is truly one of the elite players in the history of Major League Baseball. This statement was confirmed by the induction of Pete Rose to baseball's All-Century team (1999). Pete Rose's name is now listed with 30 other