Pete Rose Was Considered a Great Guy

Harold FriendChief Writer IMay 26, 2009

SAN DIEGO, CA - 1986:  Pete Rose #14 of the Cincinnati Reds runs with the ball during a game against the San Diego Padres at Jack Murphy Stadium in the 1986 MLB season in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

Pete Rose won the 1973 National League Batting Title with a .338 average. He had 230 hits: 181 singles, 36 doubles, eight triples, and five home runs.

Pete Rose was a singles hitter who was proud of that fact.

Pete Rose is the Most Valuable Player

When Jack Lang of the Baseball Writers' Association of America called Pete Rose to inform him that he was the National League's Most Valuable Player, Pete let out an exultant cry of delight.

"This rounds out my career," Rose said. "The nice part of my getting the MVP is that it proves you don't have to be a home run hitter to win."

Pete Rose demonstrated that singles hitters could sometimes be more effective than home run hitters.

Bud Harrelson admired Pete Rose

The Mets' Bud Harrelson, who had a well-viewed altercation with Pete in the 1973 playoffs, admired Rose.

"Pete Rose is the kind of ballplayer all other ballplayers should copy," Harrelson said. "There's no other ballplayer I would rather be like than Pete."

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Bud was not being facetious.

Pete Rose was well-liked

Contrary to popular belief, Pete Rose was considered a great guy and was one of the most liked players in the Majors.

Fans saw one of the fiercest competitors this side of Billy Martin, but that was only one side of Pete Rose.

Pete Rose didn't smoke, rarely drinks, was drug free, and took good care of himself. Of course, it was later discovered that he did like to gamble on occasion.

Even Willie Stargell knew Pete Rose was well-liked

Willie Stargell was Pete's primary competition for the MVP award.

Willie had hit 44 home runs, compared to Pete's five. Willie also led the league with 119 RBI and a .646 slugging average, compared to Pete's 64 RBI and .437 slugging average.

Stargell was a little perturbed that he had again finished second in the balloting.

"Awards are fine, but if it's done on a political basis I don't want any part of it," Stargell said. "I don't know what goes into it—I don't know if it's politics, if there's certain guys that people like. I know Pete's the kind of guy that people like, the way he plays."

Even Willie Stargell knew how well liked Pete Rose was.

Ray Fosse saw the friendly and the competitive Pete Rose

The night before the 1970 All-Star Game, Pete's good friend, Ray Fosse, saw the sociable, friendly Pete Rose at dinner.

Fosse saw the competitive Pete Rose the next night when Pete barreled into Fosse to score the winning run for the National League.

Fosse was injured badly, and many believe that it greatly compromised Fosse's promising career. Pete did express his regrets to his friend.

Proud to be Charlie Hustle

Whitey Ford gave Pete Rose the nickname "Charlie Hustle" after Pete ran to first following a walk. While Ford thought the name was funny, Rose did not.

Pete was proud of being called "Charlie Hustle" because Pete was and remains one of the great hustlers in American society.


How Red the Rose :Arthur Daley Man With Appela Steady Accumulation. (1973, November 22). New York Times (1857-Current file),p. 57. Retrieved May 26, 2009, from ProQuest Historical Newspapers The New York Times (1851 - 2005) database. (Document ID: 87595865).

By JOSEPH DURSO. (1973, November 22). Rose Voted Most Valuable :THE VOTING. New York Times (1857-Current file),p. 57. Retrieved May 26, 2009, from ProQuest Historical Newspapers The New York Times (1851 - 2005) database. (Document ID: 87595864).

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