Pete Rose was one of the best switch hitters in Major League Baseball, playing for the Cincinnati Reds from 1963-78, the Philadelphia Phillies from 79-83, the Montreal Expositions in 1984, and returning to the Reds to finish his career from 84- 86. Though Pete Rose is the all-time leader in hits with 4,256 in 3,562 games played, he will never see his achievements recognized in the Baseball Hall of Fame. Rose agreed to permanent ineligibility for betting on games while managing the Reds, an accusation he vehemently denied from signing the ineligibility agreement in 1989 until 2004 when he admitted to betting in favor of (never against) the Reds.

Rose was investigated by both Commissioners Ueberroth and Giamatti in 1989. Sports Illustrated brought the story public with a cover story on his daily betting for the Reds through the 87 season. The investigating lawyer claimed that he had bookie records for bets on 52 games that year equaling $ 10,000 daily, although other reports say it was closer to $ 2,000 a day. The scandal came to a close August 24, 1989, when Rose admitted there was a reason for the ban in return for the MLB withholding formal finds on his betting. Rose left his position as manager and thought treatment for gambling addiction.

Before falling out of favor, Rose was one of the most important players in the Big Red Machine, the unstoppable team that dominated the National League and Major League Baseball through the 1970s. He had a 44-game hitting streak in the summer of 1978, the closest anyone had come to take on the legendary 56-game streak of Joe DiMaggio at that time. Today, after DiMaggio and Willie Keeler, Rose remains number three on the list. In his best days, Pete Rose won three World Series rings as well as two Golden Gloves. He was Rookie of the Year in 1963 and MVP ten years later.

Although this number cannot be formally retired, no one has worn the number # 14 except Pete Rose Jr., who played briefly for his hometown Reds in 1997.

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Featured Image: The Source

Source by Geoff James