Of Pete Rose
Michael Y. Sokolove, Hustle: The Myth, Life, and Lies of Pete Rose (New York, NY: Simon and Schuester), 304 pp.
I was in high school when Pete Rose broke Ty Cobb's all time hits record. I grew up in Ohio when I was young and was always a Cincinnati Reds fan, and Rose was one of the players I admired. It seemed as though he hustled more than most of the other players and was always trying to do whatever it took in order to win. He was my first recollection of how free agency could ruin your favorite team when he departed for the Philadelphia Phillies in 1979, and led them to the World Series in 1980. In 1989, The Dowd Report (which harshly criticized Rose for gambling) was a shock. That a player who was so intent on winning and would do whatever it took to help his team to win, would break the major sin of baseball in gambling on baseball was an idea I could not have ever thought possible.
A year later Michael Sokolove, who was a former writer at the Philadelphia Daily newspaper, wrote what would become the ultimate book on Pete Rose's life. Sokolove is currently a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine and writes for the Washington Post. He took time off work to spend time interviewing Pete and over ninety associates and media personal that covered Pete Rose. He also talked with John Dowd about his report and researched the newspaper accounts of Rose throughout his career. The reviews when this book came out were almost unanimous in the praise of the writing and the accuracy presented. The book begins with the life of Pete's father and mother, even mentioning some of his grandparents, and his home life. Sokolove uses this entry to explain the personality traits of Pete that would lead to his extreme play and his later gambling problems. He then brings the reader into the beginning of Pete's major league career. He mentions numerous times throughout the book about how Pete was not loved...