Pete Rose Pt. 1: Charlie Hustle
On April Thirteenth Nineteen Sixty three twenty one year old Cincinnati reds rookie. Pete rose stepped up to to the plate standing across from him on the pitcher's mound was Pittsburgh pirates ace Bob Friend better known as the warrior he ate scrubs like Pete rose for breakfast friend wound up and let loose a heat seeking missile of a pitch just as he had planned the ball zipped and sank is it hurled towards home plate but pete saw the whole way friend end watched in disbelief as the ball soared over his head landing deep between the center and left fielders even though he wasn't a fleetest elitist foot would have easily coasted into a double instead without a moment's hesitation he rounded second running owning full tilt for a triple while Pete sprinted with everything he had the outfielder threw the ball to third base with laser like accuracy in a desperate heave. Pete's threw himself forward sliding into the bag in a spray of dirt his helmet flying off his head as as the dust cleared Pete looked up the third baseman had the ball solidly in his glove. The empire brought his hands into his chest asked then shot them horizontally from his side's safe. Pete broke into a smile. He had done it his his first career hit. By the time he retired there would be four thousand two hundred fifty five more earning pete rose the title of the hit king his ability at the plate paved his legacy as one of the sport's greatest heroes and his obsession with gambling would make him one of its greatest villains and welcome to sports criminals park cast original every week we dive into the dark side of sports history jury and look at athletes who not only broke the law but broke the rules and covenants of their sport will also uncover how their actions impacted the history history of the sport they played. I'm Tim Johnson and I'm Carter Roy. You can find episodes of sports criminals and all of their par- cast originals for free on spotify or wherever you listen to podcasts to stream sports criminals for free on spotify just open the APP and type sports criminals in the search bar at podcast. We're grateful for you our listeners. You allow us to do what we love. Let us know how we're doing reach out on facebook and Instagram at par cast and twitter quitter and podcast network welcome to the first of our two episodes on Pete Rose Baseball's all time leader in hits. He's he's also on Major League Baseball's in eligible list for gambling on baseball games including his own that means he's barred hard from any professional association with the MLB can't be inducted into the baseball hall of fame this week we'll dive into. Pete Rose's rise from unheralded cross backed the hometown hero also examined the beginnings of his entry into the dark world of underground beddings thanks and how it impacted his personal and professional life next week we'll follow. Pete's continued obsession with gambling and find out about how it landed him on the M. L. Bees in eligible list as far as athletes go every once in a while there comes along star that has no real discernible talent that is they do not excel in any clear way. They aren't the fastest don't display incredible smarts or instinct for the game. They're relatively under sized in often overlooked by professional all scouts but they have something about them. The swagger unabashed confidence and infectious and motivating drive. Have that pushes them past the competition. Pete Rose was the poster boy for this type of athlete at five eleven two hundred pounds stocky but not incredibly strong he swung the bat with a tight quick swing almost as though he was trying to slap the ball more than slug it it was known for his unceasing motor his relentless bass running his charging sacrificial style every sport has these players players these so-called Hustle guys they remind children and aspirational amateurs alike. You don't need the special ingredients of genetic lottery. Sometimes success is very much just hard work but rarely do. We count these type of players as the best. I ever play their game. Pete Rose was an exception to this rule. He rode the wave of his dedication to one one of the greatest individual careers baseball has ever seen raking seemingly unbreakable records winning multiple championships and MVP and making an incredible seventeen all star appearances with such a track record. It seemed inevitable that he would make baseball's hall of fame but Pete Rose wasn't just reckless in bullheaded on the field he had a hidden side to his personality body that would forever prevent him from getting baseball's greatest award. Peter Edward Rose Rose was born on April fourteenth nineteen forty one in Cincinnati. He's working class. Anderson Ferry neighborhood. His Father Harry was was a skilled semi pro football player and his mother Laverne had been talented high school softball player as well. Pete and Harry's relationship ship was special and informed much of who he later became Harry was an emblem of discipline every day in full work attire fire for his job as a bank teller leather shoes starched button-down shirt and uncomfortable slacks hairy would sprint up the hill leading adding to his house. If his football team lost over the weekend he would do it twice. Pete Watch this dedication and learned from a young age that desire heart and commitment could propel you forward in unexpected ways as a teenager rose was lightweight and undersized is but what he lacked in physical abilities he made up for with endless desire and boundless hustle rose was a star athlete late at Western hills high school playing both varsity football and baseball. He was known for his hard charging relentless style but those weren't the only qualities Harry hit instilled in his son even though he taught his son to never drink a drop of alcohol into I always get a good night's sleep. The elder rose was an avid gambler on the weekends. Harry liked to bet on horses is at the river downs race track. It wasn't unusual for Pete even when he was a young child to be. Intel that was life from the Anderson Ferry neighborhood. Pete loved going to the races with his dad he was fascinated by the analytical side of betting sure or luck played a big part but he also saw how when Harry took the time to really comb through the form guide he could emerge victorious more more often than not. There was nothing quite like watching the Horse Harry had picked crossed the line in first place the thrill of victory it was sweet indeed but not as sweet as the thrill of payout whenever Harry one big he would treat his son to an extravagant meal at their favorite restaurant. Pete loved the satisfaction of knowing Harry's careful strategy had helped them come out on top just like his athletic career. Pete saw how putting in the extra work at the race track could lead to significant reward that hard work translated slated to Pete's performances on the baseball field. He wasn't the strongest. He wasn't the fastest but he was relentless. It wasn't sexy but he thrived as the man to push his limits. He was also a natural leader. Pete's relentless intensity rubbed off on his his teammates inspired them to work harder run faster care a little more he truly embodied the Ralph Waldo Emerson quote that served as Western turnhill highs slogan. Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm. Unfortunately enthusiasm awesome alone wasn't enough to get someone into the big leagues when Nineteen Year Old Pete graduated from High School in Nineteen sixty pro scouts didn't. I didn't think he had the physical tools to make it in the majors. College Ball wasn't in the cards. Either Pete wasn't exactly a gifted student. Luckily he had another option. The minor leagues at the time. Pete's Uncle Buddy was doing some scouting for Cincinnati's major league baseball team the reds after Pete went undrafted buddy convinced Cincinnati's upper management to give his nephew a minor minor league contract. It was a low risk high reward move. If Pete's physical development took the next step he could become a valuable player as well as a box office draw. Nothing resonated with fans more than a local kid making good after all and if Pete failed it was no big deal he was a no name prospect from Anderson Ferry not a high profile rookie who was expected to become the face of the franchise pete sign the contract with no hesitation even though he was getting sent to the Geneva red legs in the Class D New York Penn League. Although it was pro ball it was just about as far from the major leagues as a player Cadet. It's hard to know exactly how much he was making but chances are pete was barely early making a living in the minors today. A Minor League baseball players average starting salary is twelve hundred dollars per month in his his day. Pete was making tiny fraction of that and while there was a pot of gold waiting at the end of the proverbial rainbow. There was no guarantee not pete would make it. They're on generally only ten percent of all minor leaguers. Make it to the major league but the long hard hard road ahead of Pete didn't bother him. Keep your head down and surged forward. It was what his father taught him. It was the code that would bring him. Mm to the Big Leagues Pete's bet on himself paid off after three seasons in the minors. He got the call he had been dreaming of. Since he was a kid. The reds wanted him to join them for spring training ahead of the nineteen sixty three season but being part of spring training leaning wasn't the same as making the final twenty eight man roster although Pete had come a long way some of the reds coaches still had their doubts he was still slow and he had a hitch in his swing is pete was going to make the cut he'd have to prove his worth in the only way he knew how with unrelenting hustle the. May Have only been meaningless preseason games in February and March but p treated spring training training Mike it was the world series after one particularly memorable performance against the New York Yankees Superstars Whitey Ford in Mickey Mantle. We're discussing how pete had caught their eye. They called him Charlie Hustle stories vary on what exactly earned him the nickname some say it was because Pete had sprinted to first base after earning walk others say it was because he made appoint. Lewis attempts to feel the home run from mantle that was already soaring over the stand on whatever the reason was the moniker stuck and in April. It was official. Charlie Hustle had made the opening day roster and with that spot came a seventy five hundred dollar contract in today's money. That's about sixty four thousand dollars. It wasn't a fortune by any means. The average baseball salary in two two thousand nine hundred nineteen is four point three six million dollars. The Pete Wasn't going to look a gift horse in the mouth. What's more his time. At the riverfront downs downs had taught him how he could make a little bet. Go a long long way things happen fast after that nineteen sixty three call up on April eighth nineteen sixty three. Pete Rose made his Major League Baseball debut wearing number fourteen. He drew a walk in his first at Bat on April thirteenth. One day before his twenty second birthday day. Pete got his first hit a triple off of Pittsburgh pirates pitcher Bob Friend he was just cracking the surface of his potential both the sporting world and in his personal life around the time of his Major League debut. Pete also endeared himself to someone else. The young woman named Carolyn Engelhard in the early part of the sixty three season pete was at the river downs horse track when he spied Caroline Arlen through his binoculars immediately smitten he got a mutual friend to make the introduction however pete soon proved that his reckless abandon I and didn't end on the field that summer caroline called Pete's hotel room while he was on a road trip. Jim Jim Coates Pete's roommate picked up when caroline asked if Pete was around coats paused for a moment just a second. He said he'd have to check back. It was an odd and slightly unsettling response. Hotel Room was only so big a few seconds later coats is told her that in fact Pete was not around but after a few minutes went by Pete called Caroline back. He was annoyed he he told her in his stubborn and forward manner that by calling she had messed up his chances with another girl he had brought to the room. Oh for most people the the relationship would have ended right then and there but caroline wasn't most people she understood that many pro athletes married or not enjoyed the company of women while they were on the road. What mattered was that. He came home to her and only her and as long as he was honest about what he was doing. During road trips she could live with it. The arrangement worked just fine for Pete shortly. After the end of the nineteen sixty three season he and caroline got married. It was a celebration nation of just how fast things were moving for. Pete rose. I got married then he zipped over to the Cincinnati baseball writers. There's awards to accept the honor for rookie of the year then it was right back to the reception to embrace his new bride like he was smoothly sliding in for triple. All of a sudden rose had gone from unknown prospect to rookie sensation and things were only looking up from there air by his third season in nineteen sixty five pete had become one of the League's best players that year the twenty four year old second baseman hit a three twelve batting average sixty six points above the league average of two forty six he also led the entire league with a whopping in two hundred nine hits during that nineteen sixty five season pete was named an all star for the first time it it was also the first time his gambling habits got him in trouble and it wouldn't be the last coming up a terrible tragedy causes. Pete to lose his moral compass and now back to the story as the nineteen sixty five baseball season transitioned into the summer twenty four year old. Pete Rose was flying high he he had recently been selected for his first all star game but around the time it was slated to take place everything almost came crashing down in July nineteen sixty five pete was arrested for running a red light in Newport Kentucky at four twenty five live in the morning located across the Ohio River from Cincinnati Newport was notorious for its underground gambling dens and the legality are you betting particularly when it comes to sports is murky in nineteen sixty five it was only legal in Kentucky and Ohio Oh to bet on horse races and it had to be done at an official venue like a racing track to bet on any other sport you would need to get in touch etched with an unofficial book maker or bookie. Usually bookies worked for a larger organization more often than not what was tied to organized crime the night he was pulled over. Pete was probably coming back from visiting a bookie but but the police officer who pulled him over didn't care if Pete was gambling. He cared that Pete had endangered others with his reckless driving. It didn't matter how good of a baseball player he was or even that it was a relatively minor offence pete was going to spend a few hours in jail. He paid bail with a one hundred dollars bill he had in his front pocket his red light ticket and associated fees put him back another thirteen dollars hours and fifty cents all told it wasn't a lot for. Pete who was poised to sign a twenty five thousand dollar contract for the next year worth about two hundred with thousand dollars today however peat feared his brush with the law would cost him much more than that according to the book Pete Rose Rose and American dilemma. He remarked the judge. This is going to cost me eighteen thousand booze and a five hundred dollar fine for being out past curfew but when he took to the field for that day's Game Cincinnati's Crossley Field Pete wasn't serenaded by the bluebirds stead he was greeted with a standing ovation and gifted a brand new TV set for being the reds top vote getter for the All Star game as Pete stood there soaking in the fans adulation one thing was clear as long as does he performed well at the ballpark. He was untouchable. A star above consequence with each passing season Pete racked up more accolades. After his breakout nineteen sixty five season he would go on to have a batting average over over three hundred for the next nine seasons. It was nowhere near tycoons record of twenty three straight seasons batting three hundred or better but it was still a hall of fame worthy feet nineteen sixty nine was maybe. Pete's finest year he led the MLB with three three forty eight batting average with two hundred eighteen hits that year he finished second in MVP voting and won the Golden Glove honor honor awarded to the best fielder at each respective position and while he kept his nose clean regarding the law. Pete's gambling soared to new heights heights you would place bets on anything and everything going after Russian hustle he employed night after night on the Diamond Pete Bat on on everything he put money down when he and his teammates would play pool in town and even once teammate on who would be the first one to use the bathroom author when the Reds New Stadium opened in the nineteen seventy season. It's important to note that betting itself wasn't outlawed within the MLB MLB was part and parcel of the clubhouse culture away for teammates to connect and participate in shared experiences but gambling on baseball aw was an entirely different matter ever since a nineteen nineteen scandal in which players from the Chicago White SOx conspired to throw the world series the MLB had a sour taste in its mouth gambling had almost effectively ended the sport. What's worse. If a player is betting on his or her team they are affecting the outcome of the game changing the rules before the first whistle this this is sacrilege in the sports universe but nowhere more than on the baseball diamond even if a player got caught placing bets on games not plot involving his own team he faced a lifetime ban for the moment pete wasn't putting any money down on baseball games or if he was nobody ever found out about it and no one thought to look too deeply as he continued to play top tier baseball into the next decade eh one of his most iconic moments and one of the most iconic moments in baseball history came during the nineteen seventy all star game name held in the Reds Own Stadium while the game was just an exhibition and didn't count for for anything other than pride those involved took it extremely seriously for the past seven editions. The National League all stars had bested rested their opponents from the American league with the game being held on the reds home. Turf Pete was desperate to keep that streak going it was one of the most exciting all star. Games in recent memory going into the bottom of the ninth. Pete's National League team was down for one they managed to mount a comeback and although the inning ended with Pete striking out he didn't care by then the team had nodded up the game at four to four they were going into extra innings. The tenth inning passed without a score for either team same with the eleventh by the time. Pete got back up to bat during the bottom of the twelfth there were two outs and no men on base a thirteenth inning seemed inevitable but not to Pete Rose First Pitch Ball one second pitch ball to up to go with a hitters. This count rose took a cut of third pitch and punched a soft single into the outfield. The next batter up hit a single as well moving beat up to second the crowd buzzed with anticipation has another batter. Jim Hickman of the Chicago cubs stepped up to the plate. Hickman took a cut and slap a soft line drive out to center field. Pete took off like a bat out of hell he never even considered stopping at third base playing it safe just wasn't NPR's DNA as he turned the corner towards home plate. The crowd roared all fifty fifty one thousand eight hundred thirty eight of the people in attendance rising to their feet at once there was still one thing standing between Pete and a Glorious Victory American League Catcher Ray Fosse he stood sentinel over home plate glove outstretched ratched the center fielder hurled the ball towards Fossey as Pete barrel down the third base line. It was going to be close to close for arose gritting. His teeth Pete lowered his shoulder. He charged into Fossey at the same moment. The ball came into the catcher's. Mitt the force of the the collision knocked Fosse to the ground in a heap the ball flying from his glove as Fossey lay on the ground writhing in pain. Pete scrambled to touch home base. Although it was a physical play the umpire ruled fair. Pete had won the game but it came at a cost Ray Fosse at separated and fractured his shoulder rose was explain it away by simply saying there was no place to slide the collision play went down as one of the most memorable in the history of the the All Star game also unofficially sanctioned the home base collision play as a part of baseball runners continued to use the play. Hey to breakthrough. Catchers standing in the base path until catchers were outlawed from blocking the plate in two thousand fourteen four safety reasons following. Pete's triumphant moment in the nineteen seventy all star game he helped lead the reds to their first appearance in the world series is in nine years although they lost to the Pittsburgh pirates in five games this season as a whole had been a triumph for Pete individually he finished seventh in MVP voting and won. Another golden glove a few days after the season ended. Pete brought his father hairy a with him to a charity basketball game at a local Cincinnati high school as the capacity crowd filed in to get a look at their hometown hero hairy noticed. There were markings on the floor for a forty yard dash. A mischievous glint appeared in the elder roses is he strolled over over to where Pete was shooting some warm baskets and challenged him to a race had I P laughed him off. He may not have been the fleetest afoot afoot but he was twenty nine years old and at the peak of his athletic powers but Harry kept egging him on Pete caved and agree to the race. This Harry wanted to get embarrassed in front of a crowd of high-schoolers was his decision. After a quick sprint. It was all over as the crowd cheered. Pete shook his head in Disbelief Harry had won the kids packed into the stands aided up a fifty nine year old bank teller had beaten Charlie Hustle himself in a foot race in it hadn't even been close close a week later. Pete was at the barbershop when the telephone rang as the barber listened to the voice. We saw the other side. His face went white handshaking. He hung up and turn to Pete. He had terrible news. Hairy was dead. Pete couldn't believe it. He must have misheard he. He asked if the barber meant his mother hairy couldn't be dead. He was invincible but it was true that day in December nineteen seventy seventy Harry rose died from a blood clot in his heart. Pete wept for three days on end. His father was his hero. Oh his guiding light while Pete hadn't quite lived up to Harry strict moral code he had still learned to be honest to admit his mistakes but with Harry Gone Pete loss that voice in his ear keeping him on the straight and narrow and as his star continued continued to rise. There was nobody around to keep him in check not his wife not his mother not his teammates. Nobody could tell him no and that was just fine by him. Coming Up Pete becomes truly on shackled and now back to the story when Pete Rose lost his his father Harry in December nineteen seventy the twenty nine year old all star was beset with Grief Harry had meant everything to him but pete refused to let his father's death destroy him by the time the first pitch was thrown for the nineteen seventy one season. Pete Pete was ready to play and he had a hell of a team behind him to do it with the big red machine was the nickname of the nineteen seventies. Cincinnati natty reds the core of the team dominated the National League for the majority of the decade some still consider them to be one of the greatest teams teams ever assembled they trotted out future hall of famers Johnny Bench Joe Morgan and Tony Perez with a supporting cast that included Ken Griffey Senior and George Foster and of course Pete Rose Pete was one of baseball's most fearsome players throughout the nineteen seventies he won. MVP In nineteen seventy three and captain the reds to another world series appearance in nineteen seventy five this time they were facing off against the Boston Red Sox after Pete led the team to an incredible comeback in game six. The reds headed into game seven with a championship on the line. The team came out of the gates sluggish luggage and slow by the time the sixth inning came around Boston was up three to nothing with one out and all seemed lost then. Pete rose came up to bat like most of the twenty five hundred plus hits peed racked up to that point. The ball didn't have a ton of power behind it but there was enough to get him to first base when the next batter came up. Pete bounced up and down in anticipation nation as long as the batter hit a decent ball nothing could stop eat from getting to the next base or beyond nothing except for or a ground ball to the shortstop poorly hit grounder like that often lead to double plays in fact Boston had already racked up two two of them so far. If they got another one it would be three outs and another inning wasted. Pete prepared to run as the pitcher wound up through the batter swung and sent the ball straight to the shortstop from there. All the shortstop had to do was make an easy eight foot toss to the second baseman and P would be out there was almost no point in running but this was the world series and Pete was determined to try he charged down the baseline and launched into a feet first slide. Has the shortstop tossed the ball to the second basement. He was too late. The baseman caught the ball before pete arrived and stamped his foot on the bag. Pete was out but his teammate wasn't pete slide disrupted the basement as he threw the ball. I it sailed high allowing. Pete's teammate to get all the way to second the next batter hit the ball out of the park bringing the score to three two to all of a sudden the reds were back in the Game Cincinnati would go on to win the game four to three with Pete being named. Mvp of the World Series Stories when he was anointed as the sports illustrated athlete of the year for Nineteen seventy five the article would cite his heroic break-up of that double play as one of the season's key moments. The next season Pete once again led the reds to a world world series win by nineteen seventy eight he had racked up over three thousand hits in twelve all star selections at thirty seven years old old. Pete Rose was well on his way to becoming one of the greatest baseball players of all time and it was all thanks to the relentless drive his father had instilled in him but unfortunately that was not all hairy had instilled in Pete well he followed his father's example of never touching a drop of alcohol and always going to bed early but he also took Harry's fondness for gambling to another level by the end of the nineteen seventies. Pete was placing daily Bets on Horse Races Football Games and other sporting events he put down about two thousand was in dollars per wager equivalent of seven thousand dollars in today's money he wasn't anywhere near bankruptcy but it was developing into a dangerous serious habit and it wasn't his only one in nineteen seventy eight pete had a paternity suit filed against him by a woman he had been seeing being down in Florida although it was embarrassing to have her husband's name in the tabloids. Pete's wife Caroline stayed by his side his infidelity Elodie wasn't news to her after all but having him bring girls back to his hotel room during road trips was one thing having real relationships with them was another another matter altogether and if the articles detailing Pete's case were to be believed he had spent a significant amount of time with the child's mother. It turned out the woman. Florida wasn't the only one pete was seriously seeing behind Caroline's back in September nineteen seventy. Pete and Caroline's son Pete Rose Junior proudly told his mother that he had gone to the race track with Pete and they had seen his father's girlfriend. There Carolyn did a little more digging and found out. This girlfriend was a woman named Carol Carolyn could tolerate a lot but she couldn't stand the thought of Pete flaunting his mistress in front of her child. In September nineteen seventy seventy nine caroline filed for divorce. Pete found out right before he was going to take the field for a game against the New York. Mets it marked a second second separation for Pete that year the first was at the beginning of the nineteen seventy nine season when Pete changed teams for the first time in his career career. Even though he was in the twilight of his career at thirty eight years old Pete was still highly regarded put the growing rumors about his unstable personal life as well as his desire to be the highest paid player in baseball were too much for his employers to swallow as much as it pained him. Pete wasn't willing to take the low ball offer Cincinnati gave him after a lengthy free agent courtship he signed signed with the Philadelphia phillies three point two million dollars over four years the equivalent of about ten million dollars today the big red machine gene was officially disassembled. Pete was far from done by the time he left the reds and he hit amassed three thousand one hundred sixty four hits he was less than a thousand behind ty COBB's all time record of four thousand one eight hundred eighty nine. It was a record that seemed unbreakable like Joe Dimaggio's fifty six game hit streak or cy youngs five hundred eleven and pitching wins but if Pete could play at a high level for a few more years he could do the unthinkable he could pass cobb and become the new hit king. He was up further challenge despite his tumultuous Personal Life Pete collected another two two hundred eight hits in his first season with the phillies the next year he had one hundred eighty five hits and helped lead the phillies to victory in the world series but as the saying goes father time is undefeated and Pete Rose was no exception during the nineteen eighty three season forty two year old. Pete had less-than-stellar to forty-five batting average. He had one hundred twenty. Anyone hits far below his usual standards. It was the lowest total of his career including the nineteen eighty-one season shortened by a strike break in which he had one hundred forty hits and only one hundred and seven games it was also the first time he wasn't selected for the All Star game in ten years. He was only two hundred twenty nine hits behind ty COBB's record but if pete was going to surpass him it wouldn't wouldn't be with the phillies at the end of the nineteen eighty three season. They asked Pete if he was willing to accept a diminished role on the team. He refused fused by that point team. Success meant less to Pete than passing ty Cobb not wanting to be the organization that denied Pete Rose's bid to become the all time hits leader. The phillies released him from his contract. However there wasn't the same clamor to sign him as there was when he left the reds in seventy nine in the end pete signed with the Montreal Expos on a one year contract that could rise to eight hundred thousand thousand dollars if he met certain incentives but he didn't care that much about the money he cared about catching ty Cobb Pete achieved the major milestone of four thousand hits early that season twenty one years to the day after his first major league hit fittingly it was in a game against Philadelphia but after that exciting moment pete did little to while the expos faithful by August he was hitting only two sixty his playing time was dwindling right along with his chances of beating ty hi college record later that month. Pete got the lifeline he so desperately craved and it was from none other than his former team. The Cincinnati reds after Pete left in nineteen seventy nine the team had gone on into a tailspin with a garbage record and painfully low attendance reds President Bob House. Them needed a way to reinject some life into the fan base. He figured there was no better way to do that. Then to bring the franchises most famous player back home he called Pete and told him he wanted wanted him back on the team and not just as a player house. Zim also wanted to be the team's manager. It was the perfect perfect opportunity not only would pete be returning as the hometown hero but he wouldn't ever have to worry about how much playing time he would get if he needed more at bats he could just put himself into the game. After five and a half years away Pete was poised for a triumphant homecoming and the expos weren't particularly attached to Pete and they happily traded him back to the reds can exchange for Journeyman infielder named Tom. Lawless take on August sixteenth nineteen eighty-four. It was official. Pete rose was once again in Cincinnati red but the move wasn't without controversy. Although the position of being a player manager wasn't new it was more popular killer in the late eighteen hundreds and early nineteen hundreds since nineteen sixty. Only five other players had done it and very few managed to serve in both roles with any real success. Pete tried to sue the critics by promising he wanted to instil to rules in his team. They they were the same rules his father. Harry instilled in him beyond time and play hard as for his own playing time he knew he couldn't put himself self in the lineup every single day but as long as he could still hack it and the pitcher wasn't a lefty he was going to take the field. Pete's first game back in his hometown was August seventeenth. More than thirty five thousand people showed up over twice the reds normal attendance that year. He didn't waste any time giving the fans what they wanted pulling on his old number fourteen uniform. He took his customary Mary Place in the batting order on his first at Bat. It was as if Pete picked up where he left off. After the nineteen seventy eight season his last as a red he launched the ball deep into center field as Iran down the baseline. The years seemed to follow away. He sprinted past. I without a second thought of stopping second base wasn't good enough either as he neared third pete launched into a headfirst slide tagging the bag a spray of dirt safe. It was the first of another thirty five hits. He'd have that season season in only twenty six games. Pete's returned to Cincinnati hadn't only reenergize the fan base it had reenergized him as well all all of a sudden he was only ninety four hits behind ty COBB. The all time hits record was within reach and it looked like he'd break it it as a read the nineteen eighty five season dawn with a sense of palpable excitement the press warm the city like never her before eclipsing anything. Pete had seen in his heyday. Everyone wanted a piece of Pete rose and he was happy to oblige them. Before the season started pete made an agreement with the sporting news to make daily journal entries throughout the season they'd be compiled piled into a paperback called countdown to Cobb. He also made a deal with the Cincinnati Inquirer to allow a young journalist named John or Artie already too closely cover. Pete and the team throughout the season as part of his background research Iraqi interviewed Pete's mother Laverne Burn. He had no idea it would lead to one of the most stunning revelations in the history of sports parts while they got to know each other laverne brought up the previous season's world series between the San Diego padres and the Detroit Troy Tigers. She told Iraqi that Pete had lost a bundle of money by betting on the underdog padres. Gherardi ready did a double take. He wasn't a season sports writer but he knew that if what Laverne said was true it would be grounds for Pete to be banned from baseball for life. Thanks again for listening to sports criminals next week in part two will follow. Pete Rose's attempt attempt to break the all time hits record but has the truth about his gambling habits comes to light his status as one of baseball's all time greats is placed in in jeopardy in addition to the many sources we used we found Pete Rose and American dilemma by cost you Kennedy extremely helpful to our our research. You can find all episodes of sports criminals and all their cast originals for free on spotify not only to spotify already have all your favorite music but now spotify is making it easy for you to enjoy all of your favorite podcast originals lex or it's criminals for free from your phone desktop or smart speaker to stream sports criminals on spotify just open the APP tap browse and type sports criminals in the search bar and don't forget to follow all of us on facebook and Instagram at podcast and twitter at podcast network. We'll see you next time. Sports Criminals was created by Max Cutler is a production of cutler media and his part of the park cast network. It is produced by maximum cutler sound design by Andy Weights with production assistance by Ron Shapiro Paul molitor Maggie admire and Freddie Beckley this episode Sports Criminals was written by Alex Benetton and stars Tim Johnson and Carter Roy.