KC Kingdom Editorial: Should MLB Lift Ban on Pete Rose

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Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Rose’s hitting prowess was obvious to anyone that watched.  Neither my dad, nor any of my dozens of little league coaches, however, ever referenced Rose’s hitting when they were explaining how we ought to play the game. Rose was equally, if not more so, praised for his aggressiveness and hustle (hence the nickname, “Charlie Hustle”).

Anytime the ball left Rose’s bat, he sprinted. He didn’t jog to first base assuming the fielder would make a routine play. He didn’t just round the base at half-speed assuming an outfielder would cleanly pick up the ball and fire it in. He tried to will every single into a double, and double into a triple.

Rose was always looking to take the extra base, and when he slid into a base, he did it at full speed and with a purpose.  Heck, he sprinted to first after drawing a walk.

Rose infamously derailed the career of catcher Ray Fosse in 1970, after crashing into him in a collision at home plate as Rose was attempting to score…in an ALL-STAR GAME. At that time, the All-Star Game was an exhibition, and literally meant nothing. Fosse’s shoulder was broken in the collision, and his career trended downward from that point on.

Pete Rose was a coach’s dream as an example of how to play the game of baseball. I don’t know Rose, but I’d be surprised if he didn’t take more pride in that than he does his hits total.

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