Publisher: Rodale Books
Pete Rose was born on April 14, 1941 and grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio with his parents Harry and LaVerne Rose. His father Harry could be described as hard-working, tough, and hard-nosed, especially when it came to sports. Harry played semi-pro football and always pushed Pete to give 110% at all times. This attitude and effort that Pete was exposed to growing up with a man like Harry stuck with Pete his entire life and as a result he earned the nickname “Charlie Hustle”, although it was not originally meant to be a compliment. In spring training of Pete’s rookie year, he got walked by Yankee legend Whitey Ford. Instead of jogging to first base like everybody else in baseball, Rose sprinted to first and Ford was not impressed by this maneuver and referred to him as “Charlie Hustle” in the post-game conference with a negative connotation. Rose went on to have an amazing 24 year career with the Cincinnati Reds, Philadelphia Phillies, and the Montreal Expos. Rose was the epitome of an utility player, playing a significant amount of games at six different positions (all three outfield spots, 1st base, 3rd base, and 2nd base). Pete played 18 seasons for the Reds and won two World Series (1975, 1976) as an integral part of the “Big Red Machine” and won another World Series (1980) with the Philadelphia Phillies. On September 11, 1985 Pete Rose became the all-time hit king when he broke Ty Cobb’s record of 4,191 career hits. Rose retired after the 1986 season with an amazing total of 4,256 hits.
I was intrigued by Pete Rose because not only was he a legend for my favorite team and my favorite sport; but also because I find it fascinating that the man with the most hits in the history of professional baseball is excluded from the baseball Hall of Fame for gambling on baseball. While nobody can reasonably say that betting on baseball games while playing in the MLB (Major League Baseball) is a great thing to do, he never bet on...