Bronze Statue of Pete Rose (2017)
In 2017, Pete Rose became the fourth former Red to be immortalized in bronze in the Crosley Terrace at the Great American Ballpark. Although barred from the Hall of Fame for his decision to bet on games that he coached, Pete Rose is still recognized as one of the greatest players in baseball history. As part of the "Big Red Machine," the catcher known as "charlie Hustle" was bigger than life in the 1970s. Rose helped lead the Reds to four National League pennants and two World Series victories. He also retired as the All time leader in hits, games, and at-bats. The statue features Rose diving head first into home- a signature play that symbolized Rose's hustle and physicality.
Backstory and Context
Pete Rose surpassed 200 hits as a player for a record ten times during his playing career. Although mostly regarded for his batting achievements he also won the gold glove in the 1969 and 1970 season. Along with winning of the batting titles in 1968 and 1969 Rose also one a third batting title in 1973 when he was also named the "National League MVP". Along with this he won back to back World Series championships in 1975 and 1976. Pete Rose retired the all time leader in hits, games played, and at-bats.
Perhaps no player in baseball is surrounded by more controversy than Pete Rose. While serving as a coach, it became evident that Rose was betting on baseball. When evidence was uncovered on August 23, 1989, that he was betting on games while also serving as a manager, Rose was banned for life from the sport of baseball. As a result, Pete Rose has not been inducted in the baseball Hall of fame in Cooperstown despite his on-field performance. While nearly all baseball professionals and fans acknowledge that Pete Rose is among the greatest players of the century, recent revelations about his gambling habits have convinced most that his character flaws should keep him from Cooperstown. At the same time, many Reds fans point to character flaws in current inductees and hope that Rose might someday be inducted into the Hall of Fame.
"Pete Rose." Biography.com. March 24, 2015. Accessed June 25, 2017. https://www.biography.com/people/pete-rose-39483.