Baseball Legend, Pete Rose
Baseball is one of the few games that managed to create sporting legends purely on their talent. Among the many greats that the sport has created, Pete Rose, AKA Charlie Hustle is one. Known for his greatest hits, Rose also became infamous for betting on his team and got expelled for it. He did not just do something illegal, but he broke the hearts of millions of baseball fans across the country. And the fans are just not ready to forget all that yet. With new evidence of Rose's gambling and betting on his team surfaced, critics are questioning if he should be allowed appear at the 2015 Cincinnati All-Star Game.
Charlie Hustle - One of the greatest baseball players
Pete Rose, also known as Charlie Hustle for his hard-charging style and his record number of hits and a-bats during his career as a player, was one of the greatest players that baseball has ever created. Rose's Major League debut was in 1963 with the Cincinnati Reds. He got a lucky break when Don Blasingame, the team's second baseman pulled a muscle during a spring training game and had to be benched. Rose made the most of it and never looked back. His first MLB game was on April 8 1963, against the Pittsburgh Pirates. He also got his first major hit against the Pirates' Bob Friend.
He got the nickname Charlie Hustle during a spring training game against the New York Yankees. Although Whitey Ford game him that name for sprinting to the first base after drawing a walk. Regardless of how he got it, Rose took the name as an honor and it stuck with him for life. Pete Rose had a total of 4256 hits during his career as an MLB player with a batting average of .303. He scored a total of 1,314 out of which 160 were home runs.
He became the 13th player to have collected 3000 career hits in 1978. He has a record 44-hit streak, and failed to beat Joe DiMaggio's record 56-hitting streak. Later, Rose went on to play for the Philadelphia Phillies between 1979 and 1983, when the Phillies won the World Series. He exited out the contract with the Phillies a year earlier and went to play for the Montreal Expos, when he collected his 4000th hit, becoming the second player in baseball history to do so. That pushed up his batting average to .365 with the Cincinnati Reds. He came back to the Reds as player-manager in 1984, replacing the existing manager then, Vern Rapp. As the manager, Rose led the team 19-22 record wins during that season.
He ended his career as a player, after collecting 4, 256 hits, after he was dropped by the Reds to make place for Pat Pacillo. His career as a player ended unofficially in November 1986.
The flawed manager of Cincinnati Reds
After retiring as a player, Pete Rose continued to manage the Cincinnati Reds team till August 1989. He had a record of 462-388 wins, which puts him as the fifth successful Reds manager.
In 1988, he was suspended for his unprofessional behavior on the field as a manager, when he shoved the empire Dave Pallone for making a late call at first base, one that eventually became the game-winning run.
Banishment from game
The 30-day suspension and fine levied on him for his unprofessional behavior was only the tip of the iceberg. Investigations and questioning by the 1989 outgoing commissioner Peter Ueberroth and his successor Bart Giamatti were conducted amid allegations that Pete Rose had been betting on the game. Lawyer John M Dowd also participated in the investigations thoroughly and prepared a document alleging that Rose wagered a minimum of 10,000 USD on the game every day on the 52 Reds games in 1987.
Rose initially denied all the allegations made on him and even refused to appear at the hearings by the commissioner. With Giamatti's efforts, the case moved to federal courts and the issue as settled via negotiations.
The result was that a great baseball legend was brought down to shambles when it was stated that Rose violated the MLB rules of betting against any team when being a part of the league, in any position. He was made permanently ineligible to be a part of the sport under Rule 21 Misconduct, which prohibits players, managers, umpires and other employees of the clubs or the league from involving in any kind of betting on the game.
Even a record like that could not really protect him from the one mistake he would do as manager of his former team. Even today, Pete Rose is talked about more with reference to his betting and not really his game. What does that really mean? Has the sport not forgiven him? Will be he be punished for it for the rest of his lifetime?
His attempts to reinstate back into the game in 1992 failed. In 2009, commissioner considered lifting Rose's life time ban but denied it later. The latest is that Rose's representative applied for his reinstatement to the existing commissioner Rob Manfred. The possibility of him appearing at the All Star game in Cincinnati still gives him a chance to appeal for his reinstatement.
Currently, Rose is one of the guest analysts in Fox Sports' Major League Baseball broadcasting team. Whether or not his fans and baseball will forgive him for his misconduct - only time can tell.