Thanks Mister Biggles
Thanks Mister Biggles
Weather: Typical spring weather here. A little rain, a little sunshine, some coolness and some warmth. Oh, and lots of pollen, too.
That’s it from B&P Headquarters in St. Louis. What’s going on in your world?
There’s likely people out there who are too young to have loved baseball when Pete Rose was still a player, but there was a time if you loved baseball you loved Pete Rose. His nickname was “Charlie Hustle” because the man played baseball as if every second counted. He bolted towards first base even when the throw was going to beat him by an hour and a half. I have no idea how many hits he got out of that, and I’m pretty sure it wasn’t that many, but that was Pete Rose. He squeezed every moment on the field dry and left nothing.
Here’s what Pete Rose did as a player:
MAJOR LEAGUE RECORDS
Most Career Hits 4,256
NATIONAL LEAGUE RECORDS
Most Doubles 746
( I stole all this info from this site About Pete Rose)
On 9-11-1985, Pete Rose slapped a single off of Eric Show and broke the all-time hit record with his 4,192nd hit. I remember watching that game. I remember watching that moment. I was twenty-five at the time but I had been a Pete Rose fan since I was a kid.
Four short years later there were allegations of betting on baseball and allegations of betting on the Reds, the team he was managing. There were rumors Rose had bet against the Reds in some game that he managed. In 1989 he signed an agreement to be banned for life from baseball but the decline was just beginning. In 1990 he served five months in jail for tax evasion.
You know as well as I do that whatever Rose admitted to, and he has admitted to betting on baseball and his own team, you know and I know that the truth is likely much uglier. I think Pete Rose became a gambler when he stopped being a baseball player. I think he betted against his team and I think when he did he very likely influenced the game to win the bet, not the game.
I’ve stood right here in front of you and said that we, as sports fans, have to demand more from the people we pay to play. I still believe that’s very true. But let’s put in context the very worst thing that Rose is accused of versus the penalty that has been imposed; he betted against his own team as a manager and for that he was banned for life.
Pete Rose was a part of baseball for nearly twenty-five years as a player. He’s been out now for twenty-five. Rose will never be the squeaky clean hero we always wanted him to be and he’ll never escape the cloud he left on his own accomplishments. But his accomplishments cannot be ignored. Just as his crimes have left an indelible mark on his name, Charlie Hustle left a mark on baseball that is just as permanent.
It’s time to forgive a man his mistakes a quarter century old. It’s time to let Charlie Hustle walk into the Hall of Fame, not just the Hall of Shame.
Mike writes regularly at his site: The Hickory Head Hermit
Opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those of the management of this site.