- 2B, LF, OF, 3B, CF, 1B, RF
- Charlie Hustle
- April 14, 1941
- 5' 11"
- 192 lbs
- Major League Debut:
- 4-08-1963 with CIN
- Allstar Selections:
- 1963 ROOK, 1968 HA, 1969 GG, 1969 LG, 1970 GG, 1973 MVP, 1975 WsMVP, 1976 RC, 1981 SS
n the 1960s Pete Rose was a brash rookie who turned the derisive nickname Charlie Hustle into a badge of honor. In the 1970s he won World Series titles, an MVP, and challenged the greatest streak in baseball history. In the 1980s he became the most prolific hitter in history, managed his hometown team, and was banished from baseball for his indiscretions. In the 1990s and into the early 2000s, Rose pleaded his innocence and then recanted, admitting his guilt, hoping to get back into the game. Through it all Pete Rose maintained his station at the top of baseball headlines. He defined his era.
Quotes From Pete Rose
"It's mostly state of mind. Everyone gets aches and painsand everyone gets mentally fatigued. But some are more willing to play than others. If I owned a club, I would hang up a sign in the locker room that said 'Note to regulars: If you play tonight, you get paid. If you don't play, no pay.' You'd see how few games guys would miss."
"This is America, you're supposed to be given a second chance. But a lot of people don't want me to have that." — Rose, in January 2006
Teams Pete Rose Managed
Cincinnati Reds (1984-1989)
Johnny Bench;Tony Perez;Joe Morgan;Mike Schmidt;Davey Concepcion;Tim Raines;Andre Dawson;George Foster;Tom Seaver;Steve Carlton;Don Gullett;Mario Soto;Steve Rogers;Tug McGraw;Sparky Anderson
Best Season: 1969
Rose had his best offensive season in '69, leading the league in batting for the second straight season (.348). He also paced the circuit in runs with 120. As the team's leadoff man he was a catalyst, rapping 218 hits and walking 88 times. He hit 33 doubles, 11 triples, and a career-best 16 homers. He drove in 82 runs, slugged .512 (by far the highest of his long career), and had a .432 OBP (also a career-best). The Reds finished just four games out of first, and Pete lost the MVP to Willie McCovey.
"A Good, Hard, Clean Play"
He would say later that he never would have been able to look his father in the eye if he hadn’t run the catcher over. Pete Rose made a reputation for himself as the ultimate baseball warrior out of this one famous play at home plate.
It was July 14, 1970, and baseball’s greatest players were gathered in brand new Riverfront Stadium (opened just two weeks earlier) for the All-Star game. The contest had moved into the bottom of the twelfth inning with the teams deadlocked at 4 runs. The NL half of the inning began innocently enough – Joe Torre grounding out to Brooks Robinson, and Roberto Clemente bouncing out to Sandy Alomar. Enter Rose, a man who never gave away an at-bat, and who promptly singled to center field off Clyde Wright.
The forgettable Billy Graberkewitz kept the inning going with a single, Rose moving to second. Next up was Cub Jim Hickman. As Hickman worked the count, Rose eyed the outfielders and edged off second, anxious to score on any safe hit. When Hickman sliced a line single to center, Rose was on his way, charging around third and aiming for the winning run.
Center Fielder Amos Otis charged the ball and got off a strong (but errant) throw to home. Ray Fosse, the promising young Cleveland backstop, moved up the third base line to take the throw. Rose thought about going in head first but quickly realized Fosse and his shin guards would make a dent in his skull. With a few awkward strides of re-adjustment, Rose buried his left shoulder into Fosse. More than 51,000 fans, a national television audience, baseball legends Willie Mays and Hank Aaron, saw Fosse hurdle backwards, head over heels, while Rose tagged home with the winning run. Charlie Hustle had scored a dramatic winning tally in front of his home crowd, giving his National League team the victory.
His manager, Sparky Anderson, in his first season as a big league skipper, called it a good, hard, clean play. Fosse agreed that the play was clean and held no animosity toward the Reds star. Though some players wondered why he would risk such a chance in a mid-season exhibition game, Rose responded the only way he knew how: “I play to win. Period.”
The aftermath of the play proved fateful for Fosse. Though he played regularly the rest of the 1970 season (he didn’t miss any of the first few games after the All-Star break, while Rose missed three games due to the collision), in the Spring of 1971 it was found that he had a separated shoulder. His production at the plate was never the same.
Rose skillfully used the incident to propagate his myth and reputation. He told reporters that his father had taught him to play hard and he knew no other way to play.
“I just want to get to that plate as quickly as I can. Besides, nobody told me they changed it to girls’ softball between third and home.”
The Harrelson Fight
The scene was Shea Stadium, the third game of the 1973 National League playoffs, and the New York Mets were clobbering the Cincinnati Reds 9-2, looking to take a 2-1 lead in the best of five series. But though the game had long been decided, their was some excitement still to come. That’s they way it was when Pete Rose was on the field.
In the fifth inning, trailing 9-2 (Rusty Staub had homered in both the first and second innings for New York), Rose was on first when a ball was hit to the middle of the infield. Met shortstop Bud Harrelson made the force at second and crossed the bag ready top complete a double play, but Rose slid into him hard, taking out his legs. The two men ended up on top of each other in the middle of the infield dirt, rolling around like two cats in an alley. Rose ended up on top of Harrelson and soon the benches cleared and the field filled with Reds and Mets. The ensuing melee proved tame (as do most baseball brawls), though Cincinnati reliever Pedro Borbon did turn heads when he ripped apart a Met cap with his teeth.
When calm was restored, the game continued. But in the bottom of the inning, as Rose took his position in left field, New York fans showed off their arms – pelting debris at the Cincinnati star. When a whiskey bottle whizzed past his head, Rose retreated to the dugout as manager Sparky Anderson took his team off the field. New York City police surrounded the field and the game was finished in a bizarre roped-off atmosphere.
But the crowd continued their relentless booing and taunting of Rose. In the ninth inning, his team still trailing hopelessly, Rose showed his moxie and the reason he never gave away an at-bat. He singled sharply to center field and defiantly stood on first base, receiving the jeers of the partisan crowd. When the game ended, he sprinted to the clubhouse, with police guarding him from the unruly mob.
Now trailing two games to one, the Reds battled the Mets in Game Four the next day, again at Shea Stadium. Tied 1-1 in the top of the twelfth, the Reds clung to life. A loss would end their season. But it was at such critical moments that Rose lived for. With the Shea crowd yelling for his scalp, Rose clobbered a pitch from Harry Parker, sending it over the right field wall for a 2-1 Reds lead. As he rounded the bases to a chorus of boos, Rose pumped his fist and stomped on home plate. Borbon closed the door in the bottom of the inning, and the Reds were tied. That damned Charlie Hustle, the most hated man in New York, had done it again.
It was a midsummer night in 1978, June 14th to be exact, when baseball’s best hitter began his assault on the greatest single-season record in baseball history. No man had seriously challenged Joe DiMaggio’s 56-game hitting streak in the 37 years since he had set it in 1941. No man had ever had the consistency - the drive - the will to get a hit every day. Not until Pete Rose that is. It was in Cincinnati on June 14th that Rose singled in the first inning off Dave Roberts of the Cubs. Quietly his streak grew, as all streaks do. First to 5 games, then 10 and 15. As he moved past 20 games and then 30, mostly with hits in his first or second at-bats, Rose was making it look easy. But it was far from easy, as Rose proved through out his career, he was a hard worker. As the streak grew, Rose spent more time in the batting cage, perfecting his craft.
Soon the media took notice of the streak and a pool of reporters accompanied Rose and the Reds to every game, home and away. On July 19th against the Phillies Rose looked to be stopped – it was the last of the ninth, he was hitless, and his team trailed. Rose walked and the streak appeared to be over. But miraculously the Reds rallied for 6 runs, batting around and giving Rose another chance. Facing Ron Reed, Rose laid down a perfect bunt and streaked across the first base bag with a single. Reed glared at Rose, upset that he had bunted with his team up 7-2. Reed was sure Rose was showing him up, but Pete later insisted that he merely took advantage of the fact that Mike Schmidt was playing him so far back at third. The streak was at 32 games.
On July 25th in Shea Stadium, where just 5 years earlier his fight with Bud Harrelson resulted in a near riot, Rose singled in the third inning to set a National League record of 38 consecutive games with a hit. On the 28th, at home in Riverfront, Rose bunted in front of Schmidt again, this time in a close game in the sixth inning, extending his mark to 41 games. He had now passed the best streak that Ty Cobb had ever posted. The next few days saw him pass George Sisler and Bill Dahlen.
His single off Phil Niekro on July 31st tied Rose with Willie Keeler at 44 games. But the next day the streak came to end as the Braves collared Rose and stopped his charge on DiMaggio, about two weeks shy. Gene Garber struck Rose out in the ninth inning to end the streak. The competitive Rose was sour after the game, blasting Garber and the Braves for not challenging him with fastballs.
After nearly 23 seasons, the tenacious Pete Rose was on the brink. It was September 11, 1985, in Cincinnati, Ohio. Rose had been born and raised in Cincinnati. He debuted with the Reds in 1963 and played for the team for 16 years, winning two World Series and playing in two more. With the Phillies he won another Series in 1980 and played in another in '83. After a brief stint in Montreal, where he never seemed to belong, Pete was back in Cincy in '84.
Filled with excitement at coming home, Rose batted .365 for the Reds over the last month of the '84 season. He was less than 100 hits away from immortality. Only Ty Cobb was ahead of him on the All-Time list. A record that no one had thought could be challenged, was on the verge of being broken.
Rose was the player/manager for the Reds in '85 and he inserted himself in the lineup as much as he could. His skills had faded, but as his closing push showed in '84, he could still stroke it on occasion.
As September drew on Rose closed in. Finally, on September 11 against the Padres in Cincinnati's Riverfront Stadium in front of a packed crowd, Pete was just one hit away from passing The Georgia Peach. The Padres Eric Show served up a fastball and Rose drove it into center field - a solid single. As he had thousands of time before, he charged around the first base bag, looking to stretch it to a double. But a single was enough. San Diego first baseman Steve Garvey was the first to congratulate Rose. Soon his teammates, son, and former teammates, were on the field with him.
It was a night to remember. A night that Cincinnati was glad to have.
Where He Played
Rose played at least 600 games at four different positions. He played 1,327 games in the outfield (50% in left field, 45% in RF, and 5% in CF); 939 games at first, mostly in his later years; 634 at third base; and 628 at second base, where he started. Like Paul Molitor after him, Rose moved to help his team, whenever they asked him to. As player/manager, he used himself at 1B and as a pinch-hitter.
As a Manager
None. Rose led the Reds to four straight second-place finishes (1985-1988).
Nine Other Players Who Debuted in 1963
It was Whitey Ford who reportedly dubbed Rose, "Charlie Hustle" in a spring training game in 1963, after watching Pete run to first on a walk.
His son, Pete Jr., had a brief cup of coffee with the Reds, as a publicity stunt more than anything.
Ty Cobb, Joe DiMaggio, Joe Jackson
Hall of Fame Voting
Year Election Votes Pct
1992 BBWAA 41 9.5%
1970 National League Championship Series
1970 World Series
1972 National League Championship Series
1972 World Series
1973 National League Championship Series
1975 National League Championship Series
1975 World Series
1976 World Series
1976 National League Championship Series
1980 World Series
1980 National League Championship Series
1981 National League Division Playoffs
1983 National League Championship Series
1983 World Series
Awards and Honors
1963 NL Rookie of the Year
1969 NL Gold Glove
1970 NL Gold Glove
1973 NL MVP
1975 ML WS MVP
Rose holds the all-time major league record for most hits (4,256) and games played (3,562), both marks previously belonging to Ty Cobb. He claims to hold the record for playing in the most winning games, as well. And it is doubtful anyone can challenge him. His teams won at a consistent pace and he was a regular on eight first-place teams. He won the 1963 NL Rookie of the Year award with the Cincinnati Reds, his hometown team. Yankee pitcher Whitey Ford was the first to call him “Charlie Hustle” after seeing the cocky rookie run to first base on a walk. Rose ignored the “insult” and turned the name into an asset. He never did anything less than 100% in his long career. When he first arrived in the big leagues with Cincinnati in 1963, the Reds clubhouse was divided along racial lines. The white ballplayers resented the scrawny Rose who was out to steal the second base job from Don Blasingame. The black ballplayers, led by Frank Robinson and Vada Pinson, took Rose in and adopted him as their own. After Robinson’s trade to the Orioles following the 1965 season, Rose was the undisputed team leader. The late 1960s saw the arrival of Tony Perez and Johnny Bench, two key members of the great Reds teams to come. Rose won his first batting title in 1968, and followed it up with another in 1969, narrowly edging Roberto Clemente. Rose secured the title with a bunt single in his final at-bat. In 1970 he and the Reds won the NL West and advanced to the World Series. It was the first of many trips to the Fall Classic for Pete. The Reds won titles in 1975 and 1976, and Rose later earned a ring with the Phillies in 1980. Rose played in 34 World Series games in his career, batting .269 with 12 runs scored, two home runs, and nine RBI.
May 5, 1978: 3000th Hit... Hit came off Steve Rogers, and was a single.
August 30, 1966: Switch HR same game...
August 2, 1967: Switch HR same game...
May 11, 1980: Steal 2nd, 3rd, Home...
Worst Stolen Base Percentage, All-Time, (Min. 200 attempts)...
Lou Gehrig ... 50.2% (102-for-203)
Babe Ruth ... 51.3% (123-for-240)
Greg Gagne ... 52.9% (108-for-204)
Charlie Jamieson ... 54.4% (131-for-241)
Pete Rose ... 57.1% (198-for-347)
Well, you have to be a pretty good player to attempt 200 steals. Ruth was known for his hubris - he thought he was faster than he was. Gehrig was said to be quick, but for whatever reason he stole bases at a poor clip. The other three players: Gagne, Jamieson and Rose, couldn't afford to be poor base stealers as much as Babe and Lou could. Had Rose never tried to steal a single base in his career, he may have scored the 80 or so runs he needed to catch Ty Cobb on the all-time list... As a 38-year old in 1979, Rose collected 51 hits and batted .421 in September as the Phillies battled for the NL East division title.
44 games (1978)
25 games (1967)
23 games (1979)
22 games (1975)
22 games (1968)
21 games (1982)
20 games (1977)
20 games (1977)
19 games (1968)
17 games (1981)
17 games (1965)
15 games (1971)
15 games (1966)
There were a lot bad feelings on both sides when Rose left Cincinnati following the 1978 season as a free agent. "All I know is," Rose said. "I asked to have my contract extended in May of 1978 and they told me they didn't negotiate during the season. At the end of the season, it became pretty clear to my attorney and me that they didn't want to do business."
The staunchly conservative Reds front office tried to hardball Rose, falsely believing that the Cincinnati-native wouldn't leave. Rose bolted, but was accepted back (under new Cincinnati ownership) at the end of his career.
Signed as an amateur free agent by Cincinnati Reds (July 8, 1960); Granted free agency (November 2, 1978); Signed by Philadelphia Phillies (December 5, 1978); Released by Philadelphia Phillies (October 19, 1983); Signed by Montreal Expos (January 20, 1984); Traded by Montreal Expos to Cincinnati Reds in exchange for Tom Lawless (August 16, 1984); Released by Cincinnati Reds (November 11, 1986).
Reds infielder Don Blasimgame, who was popular with the "white faction" in the Reds clubhouse. In part because of the fact that he took Blasingame's job, Rose fell in with the black players on the Reds, including Frank Robinson and Vada Pinson.
Nick Esasky, who became the Reds semi-regular first baseman in 1986. In '87, with Rose retired, Esasky played full-time and hit 22 homers.
Best Strength as a Player
His drive and conditioning. Rose did not drink or smoke and took very good care of his body, enabling himself to challenge and break many of baseball's records.
Largest Weakness as a Player
His drive, which led Rose to value his own personal goals late in his career, to the detriment of his team.
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