A Biography in 1,000 Players No. 22 Pete Rose (Number 5 Left Field)

Just to let you know Pete Rose was never one of my favorite players. I think it was all about the hustle thing. He made it seem like he was the only person who hustled all the time and the press bought into it from what I read. I seen plenty of guys who hustled. Mickey Hatcher always hustled but he didn’t have Rose’s talent. I doubt Joe Morgan ever put out less effort than Rose did. Any catcher who catches a whole game no one can tell me he isn’t hustling. Rose did hustle, but he wasn’t the only one.

Rose had a talent. He didn’t just do it by hustling. He could get those hits that looked fluky like Rod Carew and Derek Jeter. He did get on base. He wasn’t afraid of anyone. I will have to give Rose credit. It appeared to me he intimidated Nolan Ryan the fastest pitcher of all time. It was the fifth and deciding game of the 1980 National League Championship Series. Winner of the game goes to the World Series. Philadelphia down 5-2 heading into the 8th. Nolan Ryan was supposedly unbeatable with a lead this late in the game and he had a 3-run lead. The Phillies started the inning with 3 singles loading the bases. I remember Rose kept swinging his bat and looked like he was bound to get a hit. The way I remember it Ryan threw 4 straight balls to Rose, walking him. It was now 5-3 with the bases still loaded. Ryan was taken out of the game. A lot happened in that game (I think it was the greatest game I ever watched) but Philadelphia won 8-7 in 10 innings. As you can see Rose also had a talent for the dramatic.

Rose had a gambling problem after baseball and was indefinitely suspended or something like that. It depends on what side you talk to. Anyway, he has been suspended from MLB for over 30 years now. One commissioner of baseball said he was supposed to be contrite or something like that before he is allowed back. I don’t think Rose could ever be contrite. It’s just not in him. I read his auto biography “My Prison Without Bars” talking about his playing days, but it mostly talked about his gambling problem and what he has done with his life since his suspension. It is one of the worst published books I ever read. Whoever put the book together had other people make comments, so I would be reading along, and something didn’t make sense. Then I realized someone else was speaking not Rose. They could have bolded it or put other people’s quotes in boxes. Also, the grammar is terrible in this book. I can usually survive bad grammar as I don’t care as I usually know what the author is trying to say.  However, I did notice the grammar in this book was terrible, one of the worst I ever seen in a published book. In addition, Rose didn’t come off as a very good person in his own autobiography. Often, I didn’t believe he was telling the truth unless he was bragging or blaming someone else for his problems. Actually, blaming someone else for your problems is often lying to yourself.

However, in the book Rose said he bet on baseball. I think that was his way of being contrite. I frankly have no idea when Pete Rose is telling the truth. I do feel he has been punished enough and he should be reinstated back into baseball and be eligible for the hall of fame election. To me over 30 years is punishment enough.

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Author: Douglas Byzewski

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