Steverson: Rose’s rejection of racism set example

From SABR member Bryan Steverson at the Knoxville News-Sentinel on October 8, 2016:

Many inside and outside of baseball know the name Pete Rose. Mention of his name often evokes an unending debate for fans and non-fans alike.

Rose is the “Hit King,” accumulating more hits —4,256 — than anyone in Major League Baseball history. Included in his resume are an MVP award in 1973, a World Series MVP award in 1975, selection to the All-Star Game 17 times and a 24-year major league career batting average of .303. Rose also carries the burden of being banned from baseball by the commissioner for betting on the game — baseball’s unforgivable sin.

The debate continues: Does Pete Rose belong in our National Baseball Hall of Fame?

There is another side of this complex man that too often is overlooked. Peter Edward Rose came onto the Cincinnati major league scene in 1963 and won the National League Rookie of the Year award. The soon-to-be 22-year-old was a hustler, sprinting to and from his position, running out walks and fly ball outs. Veterans on the team resented his eagerness and “hot-dogging”-type demeanor. It also did not help that he was competing for the second base job with popular Reds veteran, Don Blasingame.

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Originally published: October 10, 2016. Last Updated: October 10, 2016.