|OF / 3B / 2B / 1B
|Born: April 14 1941
|April 8, 1963
for the Cincinnati Reds
|August 14, 1986
for the Cincinnati Reds
|Career highlights and awards
Peter Edward Rose, Sr. (born April 14, 1941 in Cincinnati, Ohio) is a former player and manager in Major League Baseball. Rose played from 1963 to 1986, best known for his many years with the Cincinnati Reds. A switch hitter, Rose is the all-time Major League leader in hits (4,256), games played (3,562), and at-bats (14,053). He won three World Series rings, three batting titles, one Most Valuable Player Award, two Gold Gloves, the Rookie of the Year Award, and made 17 All-Star appearances at an unequaled five different positions (2B, LF, RF, 3B, and 1B).
Rose's nickname, "Charlie Hustle," was given to him for his uniquely determined and energetic playing style. Even when being walked, Rose would sprint to first base. He was also known for sliding headfirst into a base, his signature move, which is now used frequently by base-stealing runners today. Among his many accolades, Rose was dubbed the 1970s Player of the Decade by Sporting News magazine.
In August 1989, three years after he retired as an active player, Rose agreed to permanent ineligibility from baseball amid accusations that he gambled on baseball games while playing for and managing the Cincinnati Reds. After years of public denial, in 2004, he admitted to betting on the Reds while their manager, but not against them. The Baseball Hall of Fame formally voted to ban those on the "permanently ineligible" list from induction, but for some the possibility still exists that he will become a member of the Hall. Pete Rose was a great athlete who brought much to the game and for others, a man for whom the importance of winning overshadowed the joy of playing.
Rose grew up in the working-class area of Western Hills in Cincinnati as one of four children to Harry and LaVerne Rose. He was encouraged as a young boy to participate in sports. His father, who played semi-professional football, was the biggest influence on Rose and his sports career.
Pete played both baseball and football at Western Hills High School, but he was barred from the team because of his poor performance in class. Rose played on a Dayton amateur club instead, where he batted .500 against grown men. His uncle, Buddy Bloebaum, was a scout for the Reds and pleaded the case for his nephew. The Reds signed Rose to a $7,000 contract when he graduated high school in 1960.
Playing in the minor leagues, Rose entered the Ohio Army National Guard after the 1963 baseball season. He married Karolyn Englehardt in 1964 and they had two children, daughter Fawn (born in 1965) and son Pete Rose Jr. (born in 1969). The couple divorced in 1980. Rose married his second wife, Carol J. Woliung, in 1984. They have two children, son Tyler (born in 1985) and daughter Kara (born in 1989).
Rose was signed by the Reds as an amateur free agent on July 8, 1960 and was assigned to the Geneva Redlegs of the New York-Penn League. In 1961, he was promoted to the Class D Tampa Tarpons of the Florida State League, where he batted .331 and set a league record for triples, but also led the league in errors.
Rose's next move was Macon, Georgia, where he hit .330, leading the league in triples and runs scored. During a 1963 spring-training game against the New York Yankees, Whitey Ford gave him the derisive nickname "Charlie Hustle" after Rose sprinted to first base after drawing a walk. Rose adopted that nickname as a badge of honor.
Rose made his Major League debut on April 8, 1963 (Opening Day) against the Pittsburgh Pirates and drew a walk. On April 13, Rose—who was 0-for-11 at the time—got his first Major League hit, a triple off Pittsburgh's Bob Friend. He hit .273 for the year and won the National League Rookie of the Year Award, collecting 17 of 20 votes.
In 1964, Rose slumped late in the season, was benched, and finished with just a .269 average. However, he won fame for making opposing pitcher Ken Johnson the first pitcher to lose a complete game no-hitter after Rose scored the winning run on two errors,.
Rose came back in 1965 to lead the league in hits (209) and at-bats (670). He hit .312, in what would be the first of his nine consecutive .300 seasons. He then switched positions from second base to right field the following year. In 1968, Rose started the season with a 22-game hit streak, missed three weeks (including the All-Star Game) with a broken thumb, then had a 19-game hit streak late in the season, winning the National League batting title with a .335 average.
Rose also won the NL batting title in 1969, in what was perhaps the best season of his career. He batted .348 and also led the league in runs with 120. As the Reds' leadoff man, he was the team's catalyst, garnering 218 hits and walking 88 times. He hit 33 doubles, 11 triples, and a career-best 16 homers. He drove in 82 runs and had a .432 on base percentage. However, the Reds finished four games out of first, and Rose lost the MVP award to Willie McCovey.
Rose's 1970 season was marred by an infamous example of his taking his "Charlie Hustle" persona to unfortunate extremes. On July 14, in brand-new Riverfront Stadium, Rose was involved in one of the most famous plays in All-Star Game history. In the twelfth inning, an errant throw to Indians catcher Ray Fosse allowed Rose to score easily, but Rose still barreled over Fosse to make the winning run. Fosse reportedly suffered a separated shoulder in the collision, but it went undiagnosed. The collision also caused Rose to miss three games with a bruised knee. That year the Reds reached the World Series but did not take the championship.
In 1972, Rose again helped the Reds reach the World Series. Opening Game Five with a home run and driving in the winning run in the ninth inning with a single, Rose was instrumental in the Reds' win over the Oakland As. However, the Reds lost the series, as they had in 1970.
In 1973, Rose won his third and final batting title with a .338 average. He collected a career-high 230 hits and was named the National Leage MVP. The Reds ended up losing the National League Championship Series to the Mets despite Rose’s eighth-inning home run to tie Game One and his twelfth-inning home run to win Game Four.
The Big Red Machine
On a team with many great players that is widely acknowledged as one of the greatest teams ever, Rose was viewed as one of the club's leaders, along with future Hall of Famers Johnny Bench, Joe Morgan, and Tony Pérez. The influence that Rose's hustling, team-oriented attitude had on his fellow players is often seen as a major factor in the success of what was called "The Big Red Machine." His 1975 performance was considered outstanding enough that he earned the Hickok Belt as top professional athlete of the year and Sports Illustrated magazine's "Sportsman of the Year" award. Rose was named the 1975 World Series Most Valuable Player for batting .370 and leading the Reds to a memorable victory over Boston in the seven-game series, considered by many to be the greatest of the modern era.
The 1976 Reds swept the Phillies 3-0 in the National League Championship Series and then swept the Yankees 4-0 in the World Series. The 1976 Cincinnati Reds remain the only team since the expansion of the playoffs in 1969 to go undefeated in the postseason.
On May 5, 1978, Rose became the thirteenth player in Major League history to collect his 3,000th career hit. Beginning on June 14, he would proceed to get a hit in every game he played until August 1, making a run at Joe DiMaggio’s record 56-game hitting streak, which had stood virtually unchallenged for 37 years. The streak started quietly, but by the time it had reached 30 games, the media took notice and a pool of reporters accompanied Rose and the Reds to every game. On July 19 against the Phillies, Rose was hitless going into the ninth inning with his team trailing. He ended up walking and the streak appeared over. However, the Reds managed to bat through their entire lineup, giving Rose another chance. Facing Ron Reed, Rose laid down a perfect bunt single to extend the streak to 32 games. He would eventually tie Willie Keeler's single-season National League record at 44 games.
Traded to the Phillies
In 1979, Rose became a free agent and signed a four-year, $3.2-million contract with the Philadelphia Phillies, temporarily making him the highest-paid athlete in team sports. The Phillies had already won the National League East three years running (1976-1978) when Rose joined the team. Although they missed the postseason in his first year with the team, Rose and the Phillies would go on to win three division titles, two World Series appearances, and one World-Series title (1980) in the following four years.
The 1980 National League Championship Series between the Phillies and the Houston Astros is widely regarded as one of the most exciting postseason series in baseball history. Except for the first, all of the games were decided in extra innings. In the fourth game Houston held a two run lead until Philadelphia scored three runs in the eighth inning. Still, the Astros didn't go quietly. They evened the score in the bottom of the ninth on an RBI single by Terry Puhl. But the tenth was ruinous for Houston. Pete Rose reached base on a single and the Phillies' Greg Luzinski doubled home Rose on a close play at the plate. Rose, running through a sign to stop at third, arrived at home plate well behind the throw. Instead of sliding under the tag, without breaking stride, Rose lowered his left shoulder and flattened the Astros catcher Bruce Bochy, causing Bouchy to lose his grip on the ball and Rose scored the go-ahead run. The Astros went down 1-2-3 in the bottom of the tenth, and the series was tied. The lead changed four times in the fifth game before the Phillies scored in the top of the tenth inning following back to back doubles. Philadelphia's Dick Ruthven retired the Astros in order in the bottom of the tenth.
The worst season of Rose's career was also the season that the Phillies played in their second World Series in four years, 1983. Rose batted only .245 with 121 hits. Rose found himself benched during the latter part of the 1983 season, appearing periodically to pinch hit. He performed well in his role as a pinch-hitter with eight hits in 21 at bats for a .381 average earning a spot on the Phillies post season roster. During the 1983 Postseason, Rose batted .375 (6-for-16) during the NL Playoffs against the Los Angeles Dodgers, and .312 in the World Series (5-for-16), but Philadephia was defeated by the Baltimore Orioles.
Expos and again with the Reds
After the conclusion of the 1983 World Series, Rose was released by the Phillies after he refused to accept a more limited playing role. He was granted an unconditional release from the Phillies in late-October 1983. Months later, he signed a one-year contract with the Montreal Expos in 1984. On April 13 of that year, Rose doubled off of the Phillies’ Jerry Koosman for his 4,000th career hit, joining Ty Cobb and becoming only the second player to enter the 4000-hit club. The hit came 21 years to the day after Rose's first career hit.
Rose was traded to the Cincinnati Reds on August 15 and was immediately named player-manager, replacing Reds' manager Vern Rapp. Major League Baseball has not had another player-manager. On September 11, 1985, Rose broke Ty Cobb’s all-time hits record with his 4,192nd hit, a single to left-center field off San Diego Padres pitcher Eric Show. Bruce Bochy was the catcher. ABC's Wide World of Sports named Rose as its Athlete of the Year that year. Rose accumulated a total of 4,256 hits before his final career at-bat on August 17, 1986. On November 11, Rose was dropped from the Reds’ 40-man roster to make room for pitcher Pat Pacillo, and he unofficially retired as a player.
Rose managed the Reds from August 15, 1984 to August 24, 1989, with a 426-388 record. During his four full seasons at the helm (1985–1988), the Reds posted four second-place finishes in the NL West division. His 426 managerial wins rank fifth in Reds history.
On April 30, 1988, during a home game against the New York Mets, Rose shoved umpire Dave Pallone while arguing a disputed call at first base in the ninth inning. Rose claimed that Pallone had scratched him in the face during the argument, which provoked the push. Regardless, National League president A. Bartlett Giamatti suspended Rose for 30 days, which was the longest suspension ever levied for an on-field incident involving a manager. The shove caused a near-riot at Riverfront Stadium, and fans showered the field with debris.
Amid reports that he had bet on baseball, Rose was questioned in February 1989 by outgoing commissioner Peter Ueberroth and his replacement, Bart Giamatti. Rose denied the allegations and Ueberroth dropped the investigation. However, after Giamatti became Commissioner lawyer John Dowd was retained to investigate the charges.
Dowd interviewed many of Rose's associates, including alleged bookies and bet runners. He delivered a summary of his findings to the commissioner in May. In it, Dowd documented Rose's alleged gambling activities in 1985 and 1986 and compiled a day-by-day account of Rose's betting on baseball games in 1987, including $10,000 bets on 52 Reds games. However, "no evidence was discovered that Rose bet 'against' the Reds."
Rose continued to deny all of the accusations against him and refused to appear at a hearing with Giamatti on the matter. He filed a lawsuit alleging that the commissioner had prejudged the case and could not provide a fair hearing. A Cincinnati judge issued a temporary restraining order to delay the hearing, but Giamatti succeeded in having the case moved to federal court, after which he and Rose entered settlement negotiations.
On August 24, 1989, Rose voluntarily accepted a permanent place on baseball’s ineligible list and acknowledged that there was a factual reason for the ban. In return, Major League Baseball agreed to make no formal finding with regard to the gambling allegations. Rose was replaced as Reds manager by Tommy Helms. Rose began therapy with a psychiatrist for treatment of a gambling addiction. According to baseball's rules, Rose could apply for reinstatement in one year, however, Rose’s applications have not been acted upon.
On April 22, 1990, Rose pleaded guilty to two charges of filing false income-tax returns not showing income he received from selling autographs, memorabilia, and from horse-racing winnings. On July 20, Rose was sentenced to five months in a medium-security prison camp at the in Marion, Illinois and fined $50,000. He was released on January 7, 1991, after having paid $366,041 in back taxes and interest.
On February 4, 1991, the Baseball Hall of Fame voted to exclude individuals on baseball's permanently ineligible list from being inducted into the Hall of Fame. Rose is the only living member of the ineligible list. Later in the decade the Hall changed the rule so that Rose could be eligible for consideration by the Veterans Committee in 2007. To date, his case has not been formally considered.
During his 24-year career, Pete Rose was known for his boundless enthusiasm and unrelenting work ethic. His achievements included a career batting average of .303, a record-setting 4,256 hits, a 44-game hitting streak (1978), and three winning appearances in the World Series (twice with Cincinnati (1975 and 1976), and once with the Philadelphia Phillies (1980)).
It appeared that Rose had a guaranteed place in the Baseball Hall of Fame until 1989, when accusations of betting on baseball surfaced. Even though his accomplishments on the playing field remain legendary, Rose will forever be known for his ethical lapses related to the game he played with such passion and devotion.
In his autobiography My Prison Without Bars, published on January 8, 2004, Rose finally admitted publicly to betting on baseball games and other sports while playing for and managing the Reds. He also admitted to betting on Reds' games and reaffirmed that he never bet against the Reds.
Records and achievements
- Major League records:
- Most career hits - 4,256
- Most career outs - 10,328
- Most career games played - 3,562
- Most career at bats - 14,053
- Most career singles - 3,215
- Most career runs by a switch hitter - 2,165
- Most career doubles by a switch hitter - 746
- Most career walks by a switch hitter - 1,566
- Most career total bases by a switch hitter - 5,752
- Most seasons of 200 or more hits - 10
- Most consecutive seasons of 100 or more hits - 23
- Most consecutive seasons with 600 or more at bats - 13 (1968-1980)
- Most seasons with 600 at bats - 17
- Most seasons with 150 or more games played - 17
- Most seasons with 100 or more games played - 23
- Record for playing in the most winning games - 1,972
- Only player in major league history to play more than 500 games at five different positions - 1B (939), LF (671), 3B (634), 2B (628), RF (595)
- National League records:
- Most years played - 24
- Most consecutive years played - 24
- Most career runs - 2,165
- Most career doubles - 746
- Most career games with 5 or more hits - 10
- Modern (post-1900) record for longest consecutive game hitting streak - 44
- Modern record for most consecutive hitting streaks of 20 or more games - 7
- NL MVP Award (1973)
- NL Rookie of the Year Award (1963)
- 17 All-Star selections
- Three World Series rings (1975, 1976, 1980)
- World Series MVP Award (1975)
- Two Gold Glove Awards (1969 and 1970, both as an outfielder)
- Roberto Clemente Award (1976)
- The Sporting News Player of the Year (1968)
- The Sporting News Sportsman of the Year (1985)
- The Sporting News Player of the Decade (1970s)
ReferencesISBN links support NWE through referral fees
- Gilbert, Thomas W., and Earl Weaver. Pete Rose. New York: Chelsea House Publishers, 1995. ISBN 978-0791021712
- Reston, James. Collision at Home Plate: The Lives of Pete Rose and Bart Giamatti. New York: Burlingame Books, 1991. ISBN 978-0060163792
- Rose, Pete, and Peter Golenbock. Pete Rose on Hitting: How to Hit Better than Anybody. New York: Perigee Books, 1985. ISBN 978-0399511646
- Rose, Pete, and Rick Hill. My Prison Without Bars. Emmaus, Pa.: Rodale, 2004. ISBN 978-1579549275
- Rose, Pete, and Roger Kahn. Pete Rose: My Story. New York: Macmillan, 1989. ISBN 978-0025606111
- Sokolove, Michael Y. Hustle: The Myth, Life, and Lies of Pete Rose. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1990. ISBN 978-0671695033
All links retrieved November 23, 2022.
- Career statistics and player information from Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or The Baseball Cube
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