Today we say Happy Baseball Birthday! to big league baseball's All-Time hits leader, Pete Rose, who turns 75 today.
Peter Edward Rose, Sr. was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, on April 14, 1941, and since making his big league debut on April 8, 1963, has been probably the most beloved Reds player ever.
Regardless of how you feel about Pete, and his banishment from the game since 1989 because of betting on baseball, what he accomplished on the field in 24 years was simply amazing.
Pete collected 4,256 base hits, a big league record that's highly unlikely to ever be broken.
Besides all the base knocks, Pete also holds these big league records...
⚾ 3,256 Games
⚾ 15,890 Plate Appearances
⚾ 14,053 At Bats
In 50 years as baseball fan I never saw any player play the game with the combination of pure ferocity and fun playing baseball.
I will always remember Pete playing in the '75 World Series against Boston, with that memorable head first slide into third base...
Charlie Hustle was an appropriate nickname for the player who ran to first base after a walk like he had just hit a ball into the gap in right centerfield and was on his way to a triple.
Pete played nearly every position on the baseball field as well... he played over 500 games at every infield position, and both left and right field.
The 1963 National League Rookie of the Year, Pete Rose played in 17 All-Star Games, won the 1968 N.L. Batting Title, and in 1973 was the N.L. MVP.
Pete was a member if 3 World Series Championship teams, the 1975-76 Big Red Machine in Cincinnati, and the 1980 Philadelphia Phillies.
No one will ever be able to deny the greatness that was Pete Rose on the diamond, and only Pete himself is responsible for his breaking baseball's most valued rule, that no player or manager may bet on our National Pastime.
I'm not sure we will ever see Pete in the Baseball Hall of Fame, and I have always been in favor of him not being allowed into Cooperstown as well.
For as much enjoyment that Pete gave me growing up loving baseball, he simply betrayed the game, and its fans.
I would love to meet Pete one day, to meet the man that fuels the passion of so many Reds fans this day.
There are still plenty of Pete Rose fans who believe in him and that his rightful place in the HOF is warranted, and I salute them for their true love of the game, and always standing by him.
No matter your stance, Pete Rose will always be prominently on display in the games grand history.
Happy Baseball Birthday! Pete Rose....Play Ball! ⚾