Everything We Didn't Know About Pete Rose
There aren't many stones left unturned with Pete Rose, baseball's hit king and one of the most controversial athletes in the history of professional sports.
Rose's story, however, is much more complicated than it seems. Dating back to his working-class roots in Cincinnati, he has many layers.
It's time to unpeel them. Here are 50 little-known facts about Pete Rose.
He Was Born to Hustle
Peter Edward Rose was born on April 14, 1941, in Cincinnati, Ohio, to Harry and Laverne Rose.
Pete's father worked for a local bank for over 40 years, and he and his wife raised their four children — two girls and two boys — in Anderson Ferry, a working-class neighborhood located in the city limits.
Pete said his childhood was defined by sports. His father was a well-known semi-pro football player, and the family's home buzzed with activity. There was a basketball hoop in the backyard, stickball constantly on the street out front of the home, and a homemade baseball field just blocks away.
The Legend From Braddock Street Could Hit Anything
The Rose family home was on Braddock Street in the Riverside neighborhood, and Pete Rose quickly showed an ability to hit a ball with a bat. By the time he was 6 years old, Pete was taking pride in being able to hit any type of ball in the stickball games out front.
Stories started to grow out of the area that there was a boy who could hit anything you threw at him — baseballs, taped-up balls made of electrical tape, rocks, you name it. The scrappy little kid from the house on Braddock Street could make contact with anything once you put a bat in his hand.
His Father Turned Chairs to Splinters
Harry Rose, Pete Rose's father, was a legendary semi-pro football player in the Cincinnati area — playing in games that would sometimes draw 5,000 fans to them, with Pete as his father's team's waterboy on the side.
In one legendary incident, Harry's success on the football field drew enough attention that he was asked to come on a local television show to talk about the sport and asked to demonstrate his tackling form on a wooden chair.
Harry did as he was told and turned the chair into splinters in front of a shocked studio audience.
The Kid Inherited His Famous Work Ethic From His Old Man
Pete Rose's famous work ethic and hustle came directly from his father, Harry Rose. In a time when exercise and staying in shape wasn't something people did on a regular basis, Harry made a point of parking his car at the bottom of his street after days working at the bank — a very, very steep street.
Harry's mother, Pete's grandmother, lived across a valley from the Rose's home on Braddock Street — approximately three miles — and Harry made a point of walking there and back on the weekends for exercise as well.
No Matinees for Young Pete
You have to give it up for Harry Rose, the father of future MLB career hits leader Pete Rose. He knew his son had a gift he needed to protect early on.
When Pete was growing up, the most popular thing to do for kids in the neighborhood was going to the weekend matinee across the street and watch a double feature of movies.
Harry Rose wouldn't give young Pete permission to go to the movies for a very specific reason— he thought the movies and the big screen could have a negative effect on Pete's eyesight and make him less of a hitter.
How to Make a Switch-Hitter
By the time Pete Rose was 9 years old, his father had already trained him to be a switch-hitter. Harry Rose trained his son to be a switch-hitter by using kind of a reward system — he turned it into a game.
Pete was primarily a left-handed hitter, so Harry would make Pete hit from the right side and rack up a certain amount of good "pokes" from that side in order to get back to the left side.
Pete would become the greatest major league switch-hitter of all time, racking up over 3,000 hits from the left side and 1,000 hits from the right side.
Football Disappointment Came First
Pete Rose desperately wanted to follow in the footsteps of his father, semi-pro football star Harry Rose, and become a gridiron star in his own right.
Pete was the starting running back on the freshman team at Western Hills High School and thought he was on pace to be the varsity running back as a sophomore, but he didn't earn the starting spot. Pete, despondent over the setback, let his academics slip to the point where his options were summer school or repeating 10th grade.
His father didn't want Pete to miss summer baseball, so they held him back.
He Spent Summers With His Grandma — and a Monkey
Harry Rose determined that the best youth baseball in Cincinnati wasn't being played in their neighborhood, but down the river three miles at Bold Face Park, in the Knothole neighborhood.
That was the neighborhood where Harry's mother, Eva, lived in a three-story brick house. So that was where Pete spent all of his summers in junior high and high school, and it was a unique living arrangement. Eva lived on the third floor and lived by herself, save for a pet monkey named Pete. A very mean pet monkey.
"He bit everybody," Pete Rose told The Cincinnati Enquirer. "That monkey was the meanest SOB in the neighborhood."
Here's the Thing About High School
The decision to hold Pete Rose back for one year in high school eventually had consequences for him competing in high school sports.
When Rose came to his senior year of high school, academically, he had run out of high school eligibility. So that spring, instead of playing baseball for Western Hills High School, he played for Fritsch's Big Boy in the Dayton Amateur League. And he killed it.
Rose finished the season with a .626 batting average and excelled at three different positions: catcher, second base and shortstop.
Where Would We Be Without Uncle Buddy?
Malcolm Gladwell's seminal book "Outliers" determined that most people who achieved success at a high level had plenty of help along the way. Pete Rose got that from the start with his family, mainly with his father, Harry Rose.
But when it came to his baseball career, he needed another hand up to get to the next level. Enter Pete's uncle, longtime Cincinnati Reds "bird dog" scout Buddy Bloebaum, who convinced the local team to take a chance and sign his nephew to a pro contract in 1960 after his great performance in the amateur league.
Wait, Pete Rose Wasn't Even Drafted?
That's right. MLB career hits leader Pete Rose wasn't even drafted. That's because MLB didn't even have its first complete amateur draft until 1965.
One little-known fact about the MLB draft is that there actually was a precursor to the draft in 1960 — an expansion draft for two incoming teams in the American League, the Los Angeles Angels and the Washington Senators to fill out their rosters for their inaugural 1961 seasons.
That draft wasn't for amateur players, however, but players from other MLB franchises and was actually chock-full of All-Stars.
'Love, Dad, P.S. Keep Hustling'
Signed to play for the Cincinnati Reds when he was 19 years old, Pete Rose's first minor league assignment was to the Geneva Redlegs, where he spent the entire 1960 season, hitting .277 in 85 games.
Rose hit .331 in 1961 for the Tampa Tarpons and then .330 in 1962 for the Macon Peaches — his last stop before joining the big leagues for good.
In three minor league seasons, Harry Rose faithfully wrote letters to his son at every stop, and they were all signed the same — "Love, Dad, P.S. Keep Hustling."
Who Was Don Blasingame?
Pete Rose earned an invite to the Cincinnati Reds spring training in 1963 with the thought he had a very, very outside shot of making the club's big league roster. And when opportunity knocked, Rose was ready.
That opportunity came in the form of an injury to the Reds' regular second baseman, Don Blasingame, a career .258 hitter who played for five teams in 11 seasons and made the All-Star team in 1958 with the Reds.
After seeing what Rose was capable of, the Reds traded Blasingame to the Washington Senators.
Whitey Ford Brings 'Charlie Hustle' to Life
Pete Rose's nickname of "Charlie Hustle" is part of baseball lore — as is how he got that nickname in the first place. It's clear that the nickname came from New York Yankees pitcher Whitey Ford during spring training in 1963 and was meant to be derisive.
According to some, the nickname came after Ford saw Rose continue to sprint to first base on routine groundouts or obvious base hits and came out of the dugout to mock him.
Another story says that Rose leaped to make a catch on a home run by Mickey Mantle that was way out of his reach and Ford commented to Mantle: "Did you see 'ol Charlie Hustle out there trying to catch that ball?"
The Story Behind No. 14
Pete Rose wore his iconic No. 14 for all 24 seasons he played in the majors, and the number was retired by the Cincinnati Reds in 2016.
Rose wore No. 24 all throughout the minor leagues and wore No. 27 during spring training in 1963 with the Reds, when he made the club's big league roster for the first time.
The Reds equipment manager decided that 27 wasn't a good number for a second baseman, and when Rose showed up for his big league debut on April 8, 1963, he found the No. 14 in his locker, which had been worn the previous season by Don Zimmer.
MLB's Future Hit King Can't Get a Hit
Pete Rose, the future MLB career hits leader, didn't turn many heads when he first took the field for the Cincinnati Reds in the spring of 1963.
He made his MLB debut for the Reds against the Pirates on April 8, 1963, at Crosley Field in Cincinnati and went 0-for-11. Rose didn't connect for his first hit until April 13, when he smacked a triple off Pittsburgh's Bob Friend.
Rose finished the year hitting .273 and was named National League Rookie of the Year, grabbing 17 of 20 votes for the award.
Who Wants to Play Fort Thomas?
One way for professional athletes to avoid compulsory service in the military during the Vietnam War was to enlist in the U.S. Army Reserves, which Pete Rose did in 1964, following his rookie season with the Cincinnati Reds.
Rose had basic duties at Fort Thomas, Kentucky, where he served as the company cook and helped train the fort's baseball team alongside other Reds players in the unit, including Hall of Famer Johnny Bench.
When Rose cooked for the fort, he would come in for the early-morning shifts so he could leave and play in Reds home games that same day.
Rose 'Ruins' Historical Game
The Cincinnati Reds and Pete Rose became a weird part of history on April 23, 1964, against the Houston Colt .45's, who would eventually become the Houston Astros.
That was the day when Houston pitcher Ken Johnson became the only pitcher in major league history to throw a complete-game no-hitter and lose. And it was all pretty much at Rose's doing after he reached first base on an error in the ninth inning, stole second base then scored the winning run on an error.
Johnson pitched 13 seasons for seven different teams and finished his career with a 98-106 record and 3.46 ERA.
Going to the Chapel
Pete Rose completed his basic training for the U.S. Army Reserves just one week before his marriage to Karolyn Englehardt. He met her at a horse racing track during his rookie season, and they became engaged two months later.
Englehardt had a big personality to match her husband's and was looked at as a "non-typical" MLB wife. She even hosted her own Cincinnati-area sports talk show at one point.
The couple went on to have two children — daughter Fawn in 1964 and a son, Pete Rose Jr., in 1969.
Adversity Comes for Rose
The 1964 season was one to forget for Pete Rose following his stellar 1963 rookie campaign. He slumped late in the season and saw his batting average dip from .273 the previous year to .269 for the year.
The late-season struggles led the Reds to bench Rose, who ended up shouldering part of the blame as the Reds couldn't complete a late-season push to win the National League pennant and finished one game behind the St. Louis Cardinals in the standings.
In a sad aside, Reds manager Fred Hutchinson, the man who gave Rose his first shot in the majors, died of cancer three weeks after the season.
Getting Back to Basics
Pete Rose was disgusted by his performance for the Cincinnati Reds during the 1964 season and decided to go back to what he knew worked the best when it came to his baseball career — hard work.
Rose moved to Caracas, Venezuela, for the offseason in order to play for the Caracas Lions in the Venezuelan Winter League, where he re-honed his approach to hitting.
Going to Venezuela to play in the winter was a tradition for MLB stars, including Bob Gibson, Barry Bonds and Rose, until 2019, when U.S. sanctions forbid Americans from playing in Venezuela.
Charlie Hustle's Breakout Season
Pete Rose's third MLB season in 1965 became the turning point for his career as he went from elite up-and-comer to star. It also followed a disappointing 1964 in which he'd been benched during the Reds' late-season pennant run.
In 1965, Rose led the National League with 209 hits, 670 at-bats and finished with a .312 batting average. It was the first of 10 seasons for Rose with at least 200 hits and the first of nine consecutive seasons with a batting average over .300.
Rose also made the first of 17 All-Star teams and finished sixth in the voting for NL Most Valuable Player.
Advice From 'The Splendid Splinter'
Pete Rose's hitting prowess early in his career drew the attention of none other than the greatest hitter of all time — legendary Boston Red Sox outfielder Ted Williams.
Williams sought out an audience with the young star during spring training early in his career to discuss the finer points of hitting. Williams wrote a book on it, and after talking for a bit about technical aspects, Rose admitted he was confused.
"I can't think about all those things, Mr. Williams," Rose told the New York Post he told Williams. "My philosophy is 'see the ball, hit the ball.'" Williams laughed, nodded his head and told Rose: "Well, whatever you're doing, keep doing it."
One Pitcher He Could Never Solve
One pitcher Pete Rose could never solve was Hall of Famer Sandy Koufax, a three-time Cy Young Award winner.
Rose — and every other batter Koufax faced — had the unfortunate luck of facing Koufax during the greatest stretch of his career, including being named the National League Most Valuable Player in 1963, Rose's rookie season.
In four years of facing Koufax, Rose went 10-for-57 (.175) against him, the same stretch in which Koufax won two World Series, three Cy Youngs and led the NL in strikeouts three times.
Crafty to Beat Clemente
Pete Rose was in the midst of one of the best hitting stretches of his career in 1969, batting leadoff for the Reds with career bests in slugging percentage (.512) and on-base percentage (.432).
Rose was tied with Pittsburgh's Roberto Clemente for the National League batting title headed into the last game of the season — and even into the last at-bat.
Rose went into his bag of tricks to win the batting title, laying down a bunt for a base hit in his last at-bat of the season, pushing his average to .348 and beating Clemente.
The Fosse Incident
Out of the many black marks on Pete Rose's career, one of the incidents that stands out above the rest occurred at the 1970 All-Star Game in Cincinnati at the Reds' new home, Riverfront Stadium.
With the score tied in the 12th inning, Rose leveled Cleveland Indians catcher Ray Fosse at home plate for the winning run. Rose severely injured Fosse, one of the game's best young catchers, and fractured and separated Fosse's shoulder.
Because the throw had sailed past Fosse and it was an exhibition game, Rose was widely criticized for his actions.
The Shea Stadium Incident
Pete Rose won his first and only National League Most Valuable Player award in 1973, leading the Cincinnati Reds into the National League Championship Series against the New York Mets.
Rose may have inadvertently sparked the Mets to the pennant when he started a bench-clearing brawl in Game 3 at Shea Stadium after sliding into Mets shortstop Bud Harrelson. The two stood up, then Rose body-slammed Harrelson.
Fans pelted Rose with debris in left field, including glass bottles and lighters, and the incident reached near-riot status before Mets players, including Willie Mays and Tom Seaver, came out to calm the fans down.
Leading 'The Big Red Machine'
There have been few teams in MLB history that could rival the Cincinnati Reds of the 1970s. The team featured future Hall of Famers Johnny Bench, Joe Morgan and Tony Perez with Rose viewed as the team's de facto leader.
Rose had been resistant to moving to third base throughout his career, but in 1975, manager Sparky Anderson told Rose flatly that while he didn't have to, if he did move to third, it would open up a spot in the outfield for power hitter George Foster.
Rose moved, the Reds won their first World Series title since 1940, then repeated as world champs in 1976.
How Great Was '78?
Sixteen years into his MLB career, Pete Rose put together one of the greatest hitting streaks in baseball history.
Barely one month after he tallied the 3,000th hit of his career, Rose's single against the Cubs on June 15, 1978, kicked off a 44-game streak that captured the nation's attention and was the first real challenger to Joe DiMaggio's MLB record 56-game hitting streak in 37 years.
Rose's 44-game stretch tied Willie Keeler's National League record and came to an end on Aug. 1, with a ninth-inning strikeout against the Atlanta Braves.
Pete Finally Gets Paid
Over 40 years later, Pete Rose's status following the 1978 MLB season remains almost unprecedented in the realm of professional sports.
At 37 years old and 16 seasons into his career, Rose was the most coveted free agent in baseball history. He cashed in with the Philadelphia Phillies to the tune of a four-year, $3.2 million contract that made him the highest-paid athlete in professional team sports.
Rose's addition paid off. In five seasons, he led the Phillies to three division titles, two National League pennants and their first World Series title since 1940 in 1980.
How Much Did Pete Make?
Pete Rose had several lucrative endorsement deals throughout the latter stages of his career — most notably with Mizuno — but the bulk of his money came from playing baseball throughout most of his career.
Rose became the highest-paid player in baseball for the first time in 1979, when he made $905,000 playing for the Philadelphia Phillies. That amount almost tripled the $375,000 he'd been paid in each of the previous two seasons with the Reds.
Ironically, it was the Reds who gave Rose his biggest payday in 1986, his final season, when he received $1 million to be a player/manager.
He Was Not a Thief
Pete Rose did a lot of amazing things during his career, but stealing bases wasn't once of them. In his first seven seasons (1963-69), Rose got caught stealing bases more times (60) than having actual stolen bases (50).
It was a pattern that would last for the rest of Rose's career, but he improved on that like he did everything else. For the next 16 seasons, he stole 148 bases and was caught stealing 89 times.
Rose had his most unusual year on the basepaths in 1975, when he reached base a league-leading 310 times and tried to steal a base just once.
Kareem Takes Over the Cockpit
Pete Rose was the original choice to play the role of co-pilot Roger Murdock in the 1980 comedy hit "Airplane!" according to a 2015 interview with co-directors with Jim Abrahams, David Zucker and Jerry Zucker.
Because the filming of the movie was pushed to August 1979, Rose wasn't available because it was the middle of the baseball season, and the role went to NBA Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
The film, shot for a budget of $3.5 million, grossed $158 million at the box office and spawned a 1982 sequel.
Mr. Rose, We're Ready for You on Set
Pete Rose's IMDb page holds up with almost any pro athlete you can find — 97 credits dating back to 1965.
It's worth noting that Rose, who was supposed to have been in the 1980 comedy hit "Airplane!" only played someone other than himself once, when he played Detroit Tigers star Ty Cobb in "Babe Ruth," a made-for-television movie that was released in 1991.
Some of the more interesting credits include an appearance on a "Frank Sinatra: Portrait of an Album" video in 1985, three appearances on "The Mike Douglas Show" from 1976 to 1977, the Ted Williams short film "The Science of Hitting in 1974," and a litany of appearances at WWE events.
One Marriage Ends, Another Begins
Pete Rose's first marriage to Karolyn Englehardt ended in divorce in 1980 after 16 years and two children, Fawn and Pete Rose Jr. The last two years of the marriage were clouded by a paternity suit brought by one of Pete Rose's former girlfriends, who said Rose fathered a daughter with her in 1978.
Rose eventually admitted he was the child's father and married local waitress Carol Woliung in 1984. Rose had two children with Woliung, Tyler in 1984 and Cara in 1989, and the couple eventually divorced in 2011.
Daughter Gains Fame as Actress
Two of Pete Rose's children have lived their lives in the spotlight as well — actress daughter Cara, who goes by the stage name of Chea Courtney, and son Pete Rose Jr., a professional baseball player like his father.
Courtney's success in front of the camera came primarily as a child actress with roles on the hit television shows "Melrose Place", "Judging Amy", "Profiler" and soap opera "Passions."
She also had a role in the 2002 movie "Dragonfly" starring Kevin Costner before starting a career as a film and television producer.
Like Father, Like Son
Pete Rose Jr. was a fixture in major league clubhouses with his father throughout the last decade of his career, and famously came on the field and embraced his father when he broke MLB's career hits record in 1985.
While Pete Jr. only had a brief call-up to the majors in 1997, when he played 11 games with the Reds, he played professional baseball from 1989 to 2008, with most of that spent in the minor leagues.
Pete Jr., who was convicted of giving his teammates illegal drugs late in his career and served a short prison sentence, played in almost 2,000 minor league games and finished with a .271 batting average.
One Weird Year in Montreal
The Phillies granted Pete Rose his unconditional release after the 1983 season, and he signed with the Montreal Expos for the 1984 season.
Rose only played 95 games for the Expos before being traded to the Reds, but he did have a notable moment with the team when he notched the 4,000th hit of his career against the Phillies on April 13, 1984, becoming just the second player after Ty Cobb to hit that mark.
It's still striking for baseball purists to see the old pictures of Rose in his Expos uniforms. The franchise left Montreal and became the Washington Nationals in 2004.
Last of His Kind
When the Reds traded for Pete Rose in 1984, they brought him back into the fold as a player/manager, which he continued as through 1986. Rose is likely the last player/manager in MLB history, ending a role that teams used at different times dating all the way back to the game's beginnings in the late 1800s.
Rose wasn't the only one of his contemporaries to take on such a role. Joe Torre started his managerial career as catcher/manager for the Mets, and Rose's old teammate, Frank Robinson, became the first African-American manager in MLB history when he was named player/manager of the Cleveland Indians in 1975.
Reviled Owner and Beloved Player
Pete Rose's relationship with reviled Reds owner Marge Schott was never great, but it was also never worse than when Rose closed in on Ty Cobb's MLB career hits record in 1985.
As Rose chased baseball immortality, Schott grew more and more agitated at the thought Rose might break the record in a city besides Cincinnati, leading Rose to say on one road trip that "everybody wants me to break the record but (Schott)."
Rose was one of the few people to stick up for Schott when she was thrown out of baseball for racist comments in the mid-1990s, saying, "It's not that (Schott) doesn't like one group of people. She just doesn't like anybody."
The Problem With the Record: Part I
The biggest testament to the power of Pete Rose's career hits record is that it has sprung up separate, sprawling controversies around it. The first of those has to do with when Rose actually broke Ty Cobb's record with his 4,192nd hit.
Outside historians contend Cobb had two times in his career where a single hit was counted twice, so his career total was actually 4,189, and Rose broke the record against the Cubs on Sept. 8, 1985.
Major League Baseball still recognizes Cobb's total as 4,191 and Rose's record-breaking hit on Sept. 11 against the Padres.
The Problem With the Record: Part II
Multiple people have come forward with stories that Pete Rose corked his bat during the later stages of his career, at least.
The reason why this would have created a bigger advantage for Rose than it would for most hitters is because of his approach to hitting. He never would have considered the fabled "trampoline effect" that says corked bats make the ball go further.
Rose wasn't a power hitter, so the advantage of using the lighter bat for someone with his ability would have been exponential.
About Those Signed Baseballs ...
If you've ever managed to get your hand on a Pete Rose signed baseball since, say, the late 1970s that you didn't see signed by the man himself, it's 50/50 you might have your hands on a fraud.
Longtime Rose assistant/gopher/entourage member Tommy Gioiosa told Vanity Fair in a 2011 article he learned Rose's signature and signed baseballs for him at Rose's behest for years.
Gioiosa, a former minor league baseball player Rose befriended in the 1970s, was convicted for cocaine trafficking and served almost four years in prison, getting out in 1992.
Who Was Pat Pacillo?
On Nov. 11, 1986, player/manager Pete Rose removed himself from the Reds' roster to make room for pitcher Pat Pacillo — a roster move that symbolized Rose's unofficial retirement from the game after 24 seasons.
Rose never played another game after that and managed the Reds for three more seasons. Pacillo was a fifth-round pick out of Seton Hall and a member of the famed 1984 U.S. Olympic baseball team.
He pitched one season in the majors, making 18 appearances while going 4-3 with a 5.90 ERA.
It Wasn't Just About Hitting
Pete Rose is known for being a great hitter. In other news, the sky is blue. But what's not brought to the forefront of conversations about Rose's greatness as a player on as much of a regular basis was his ability to play so many different positions at a high level.
Rose is the only player in MLB history to play at least 500 games at five different positions — first base, second base, third base, left field and right field. Rose even played 73 games in center field.
Rose played the most games at first base, 939, but played the most total games in the outfield.
Can This Record Ever Be Broken?
Derek Jeter played almost every game in his 20-year career, save for his rookie year of 1995 and an injury-shortened 2013 season, and still came up around 800 hits short of Pete Rose's career record — the biggest threat to taking down the hit king in the 35 years since Rose set the record.
There is no current player who appears to have a shot at even getting close to Rose's record. Three-time American League Most Valuable Player Mike Trout was one of the fastest players to reach 1,000 hits in MLB history but hasn't had over 150 hits in a season since 2016.
Speaking of Mike Trout ...
Comparing similar players from different eras is a beloved pastime of sports fans across the entire spectrum. Baseball is definitely not immune. Rose himself has been asked multiple times which players from the modern era compare most favorably with himself.
And leave it to Rose to pick the two highest-paid players in the sport as the ones he sees himself in the most — Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout and Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Bryce Harper.
Rose, however, said it was another professional athlete, in another sport, who he felt was the most in line with how he approached the game.
Russell Westbrook's Biggest Fan
If you watched the ESPN documentary "The Last Dance," then you now know the depths of Michael Jordan's competitive drive all too well. It's not a stretch to say that fell in line with Pete Rose's approach to the game.
And it's in another basketball player that Rose sees the most of himself among today's professional athletes — Houston Rockets point guard Russell Westbrook.
"I love him," Rose told The New York Post. "That guy plays every damn minute like it's his last minute … and when the game's over, the hell with shaking hands, he's in the damn locker room."
What's Pete Doing Today?
Pete Rose makes the majority of his income today from appearance and autograph fees — an estimated $1 million per year.
Rose has been engaged to Playboy model Kiana Kim since 2011, and the two had a reality show that ran for one season on TLC.
Rose admitted to gambling on baseball in his 2004 autobiography, "My Prison Without Bars", and it's widely believed his reinstatement to Major League Baseball and his admittance to the Hall of Fame is directly related to whether or not Rose will stop betting on baseball games.
What Do You Think of Pete Rose Now?
There it is. All the good, bad and ugly about MLB career hits leader Pete Rose. The question seems to linger over Rose, to this day, over a question of character. And for all of his failings, it should be pointed out that Rose's peers thought unbelievably highly of him during the majority of his playing career.
He was given the Hutch Award in 1968, for his "fighting spirit and competitive desire." He was given the Lou Gehrig Award in 1969 for "character and integrity." And finally, he was given the Roberto Clemente Award in 1975 as the MLB player who "best exemplifies the game of baseball, sportsmanship, community baseball involvement and the individual's contribution to his team."
Love or hate him, Pete Rose is one of a kind.