Baseball & # 39; Hit King & # 39; Pete Rose, 78, says his biggest regret is gambling at the game and being banned
He was the Hit King of baseball and crushed records and dominated the game while playing for the Big Red Machine, the Cincinnati Reds, from the 1960s to the 80s – until he was caught gambling on games in which he played and then managed.
Pete Rose, now 78, writes his last mea culpa about his greatest regret in life – he bets on baseball and is banned from the game he almost loves as much as life itself has closed the door forever to honor the name of the baseball Hall of Fame.
Still confronted with the lifelong prohibition of sport in 1989, Rose admits he blew it up and he knew it.
& # 39; Everyone gambles on sports. But it is one thing to put a few dollars in a game with a friend and another to place an illegal bet through a bookmaker.
& # 39; Maybe the hunger I felt driving me in the field sometimes hurt me & # 39 ;, Rose writes in his new memoirs. Play Hungry, The Making of a Baseball Player, published by Penguin Press and on June 4.
Pete Rose, known as the & # 39; Hit King & # 39 ;, shattered records when he played for the Cincinnati Reds from the 1960s to 1980s
Rose spent two weeks in Vietnam with Joe DiMaggio (pictured together, right) and wrote: & I was in the clouds for the entire trip nine, finally a chance to hang out with the great DiMaggio
That hunger began with a father he worshiped and idolized who taught him that winning was everything.
The self-proclaimed river rat, who grew up on the west side of Cincinnati, learned to work hard for everything he had ever achieved because he was too late to grow. But when he finally did that, he had a kind of wild hunger to never be satisfied with anything but everything to give and win, Rose writes.
The bumpy little man with her stuck upright like a porcupine and an opening between his front teeth through which he could spit was destined for the large divisions and approved a style of running down with a characteristic, first slide.
The game became his obsession with the exclusion of school and study.
& # 39; It was always sport. I was destined to be an athlete. Perhaps the only book I ever read to cover was the Major League Baseball Rule Book & # 39 ;, Rose writes.
The 78-year-old considers his life in the new memoirs Play Hungry, The Making of a Baseball Player
When he lost his second year, he said: & # 39; F ** K school! I'm not going! & # 39;
Thanks to his mother's brother, Uncle Buddy Bloebaum, who was a scout for the Cincinnati Reds, he finally got the chance to play in the big leagues when he weighed from 150lbs to 5 & # 39; 7 & # 39; to 202lbs two and half a year later.
He was not the fastest runner, but he developed a squat on the plate and a run with a crab leg to the floor and ran down as if he were behind a burglar.
Rose shouted at the pitcher to stir him up in such a way that he might make a mistake by trying harder to get him out.
& # 39; Don't do that anymore & # 39 ;, Rose shouted. He kept screaming from the dug-out when he was a manager, using four acronyms that upset the people in the gallery.
Rose saw herself as an entertainer and set records with stolen bases.
Early in the spring training to make the team, Rose writes about traveling with big black players such as the big Frank Robinson, who became the first African-American manager in Major League Baseball and witnessed racism.
When Robinson talked to baseball, Rose listened and it opened up new worlds of thinking for him. Robinson became one of the best friends he had ever had in baseball and taught him to play hard.
& # 39; He is one of the reasons why I was super aggressive on the bases.
& # 39; I felt something in common with my black teammates. Perhaps it has to do with the fact that people underestimate us or look down on us & # 39 ;, Rose recalls.
In 1967 he received a call from someone from the State Department asking if he was interested in going to Vietnam with Yankee, great Joe DiMaggio, who was on his way for two weeks to get rid of the morale of GI & # 39; s involved in the Give Vietnam war a boost.
& # 39; Will I get to know Joe? & # 39; Peter asked, excited by the idea.
& # 39; Meet him? You were going to live with him. You would be there for more than two weeks & # 39 ;, said the man.
DiMaggio had retired from the New York Yankees before Rose entered the major divisions, so their paths were never crossed.
Rose writes that he once showered DiMaggio in Vietnam and said he was a & # 39; penis with a man hanging on him & # 39 ;, and added that he felt sorry for his wife Marilyn Monroe
The baseball star writes that his hunger for greatness began with his father, whom he worshiped and worshiped, taught him that winning was everything
Rose writes about traveling with big black players including Frank Robinson (shown together in 1970) who became the first African-American manager in Major League Baseball
Rose knew that Joe was married to Marilyn Monroe and did advertisements for Mr. Coffee.
After his last season with the Yankees in 1951, Joe was vice president of the Oakland A & # 39; s and tapped the Foreign Ministry to go to the dangerous war zone.
& # 39; I spent the whole trip in the clouds nine, finally a chance to hang out with the great DiMaggio & # 39 ;, Rose writes.
The flight from San Francisco to Tokyo was long and anything but first class.
The requirement to stop in Guam to refuel before continuing to Saigon, the capital of South Vietnam.
First stop, a field hospital where & # 39; you saw boys who had their legs blown off or lost an arm. That war was all traps and grenades. It tore me apart, see guys who have sacrificed so much to serve our country & # 39 ;.
Joe remained calm, except when they visited a hospital with wounded American soldiers who had no air conditioning when a VC hospital did.
Joe came through and was polite and humble everywhere he went.
On a very hot day in Saigon, Joe said: & # 39; I need to shower & # 39 ;.
The only way out in the jungle was to fill a canvas bag with water, hang it, and leave a man pulling a lever.
Pete did that and thought he was the only man in the world to shower the big ball player.
He then looked closely and said: & # 39; Yankee Clipper my a **. Joe DiMaggio was a penis with a man hanging on him. I felt sorry for Marilyn Monroe & # 39 ;.
Joe & # 39; s answer was: & # 39; That's not where it ends, there it bends & # 39 ;.
Rose married Carol Rose and had a son Ty Rose (shown together in 1980 at Riverfront Stadium). He has five children
Standing at 5 & # 39; 10 & # 39; and weighing 190 pounds, Rose was described as all muscles, all movement and all desire that adopted a style of running from a base with a signature first slide
Recalling the glory years in baseball, Rose writes that when he was a player, he only had one-year contracts for his 16 seasons in the big leagues, expecting to receive an annual salary of $ 100,000.
He regarded his team, the Big Red Machine Cincinnati Reds, as the most entertaining team ever with boss-run championships, RBI champions, and champions who stole the base.
& # 39; We had black stars, we had Latino stars, we had white stars, all in the Gallery of Honor & # 39 ;.
And his team & # 39; broke their aces & # 39 ;.
Rose at 5 & # 39; 10 & # 39; and a weight of 190 pounds was described as all muscles, all movements, all desires, a flaming plague in Cincinnati shouting at the jug, & # 39; Getitover & # 39 ;.
With hard-nosed baseball in the All-Star Game, Rose ran into third baseman to tag base and some saw it as dirty play, but Rose considered it & # 39; just good, hard baseball. & # 39;
& # 39; I enjoyed winning the game. For me, baseball was always a fight, and sometimes you had to fight to win in ways that looked rough. I think my image after that was even more that of a winner – a bit of a rough face & # 39 ;.
Rose & # 39; s father died in 1970 and sent him in the fog.
The official 1964 team photo for the Cincinnati Reds was taken on September 30, with Pete Rose shown in the front row
After playing for the team, Rose changed the Cincinnati Reds from 1984-1987, and as pictured here argued with a referee during a came against the Los Angeles Dodgers
& # 39; Maybe my whole life since he died has been foggy. Part of me died with him, I know that & # 39 ;.
& # 39; My father had always been my guide & # 39 ;. I did everything for him.
& # 39; He must have seen me win Rookie of the Year – and he has seen me in the World Series & # 39 ;, Rose writes.
& # 39; Here's one thing I can say for sure: I don't think if my dad had been alive, I'd always bet on baseball. Not that I didn't gamble when my father was alive – that was part of the sports world I grew up with. Everyone gambles on sports & # 39 ;.
But placing money on a game with a friend was different than placing a bet through a bookmaker.
& # 39; I knew I was putting my guess at a point that it would not have gone well with him & # 39 ;.
In 1978, Rose was a free agent looking for a large offer.
He visited Atlanta and Braves owner Ted Turner who picked him up at the airport.
Turner has to program for his newly created Super Station TBS and was pleased that Rose slipped to second base with a Braves uniform.
Turner offered Rose four million dollars a year for four years and said he didn't need to see tape about how Rose played a ball.
& # 39; I want him to help me sell TV, & # 39; Turner said.
The St. Louis Cardinals offered Rose a Budweiser Distributorship. The Pittsburgh Pirates offered him racehorses.
Turner called back and increased the offer to & # 39; $ 100,000 each year of his life after he retired until he died, plus the $ 4 million & # 39 ;.
But Rose signed with Philadelphia Phillies for $ 810,000 a year and won a World Series for the Phillies.
Looking at the state of baseball today, Rose writes that it looks like a sport trying to turn itself into a video game and & # 39; it's boring & # 39 ;, he says.
Rose held his place marker alongside his former teammate Ken Griffey Sr. at a ceremony honoring the 1976 World Series champion team in 2016
Rose is pictured during his dedication ceremony for a baseball game between the Cincinnati Reds and the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2017 in Cincinnati
He sees the explosion of houses as ridiculous.
When a player broke his bat mid-way in New York in the 2018 season and still hit a 406 soccer player to center the field – & # 39; Are you kidding me? That doesn't happen & # 39 ;, Rose says.
When he saw a pop fly crash behind the dug-out in Anaheim and bounced back into the second deck, Rose said the ball had to be squeezed.
& # 39; Of course something is wrong with the ball. You can blame the players for that. Those are the owners.
& # 39; All new ballparks are like bandboxes. Referees will not mention strikes. The ball travels as if it were a Titleist (a golf ball).
& # 39; Everything is to the batter's advantage. I think that's the way the owners want it & # 39 ;.
Players can earn $ 10 million a year if they hit 25-35 homeruns in a season.
Rose thinks that the talent pool of good players is not big enough to serve thirty teams.
& # 39; There are now many really bad teams in Major League Baseball and many bad players & # 39 ;.
Pete Rose loved the sport and wanted the reader to know how much he loved baseball and to live a life dedicated to the game.
He still hopes that he will end up in the Gallery of Honor, even if he is away from this world.
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