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This statue commemorates longtime Cincinnati Red and baseball’s all-time hits leader, Pete Rose (1941-). Born in Cincinnati, he spent nineteen of his twenty-four major league seasons with his hometown team. In his first stint with the Reds from 1963 to 1978, Rose won three National League batting titles, two Gold Glove Awards, and one National League Most Valuable Player Award. With teammates Johnny Bench, Joe Morgan, and Tony Pérez, he helped propel Cincinnati’s “Big Red Machine” to four National League pennants and two World Series titles in the 1970s, collecting the 1975 World Series Most Valuable Player Award along the way. In 1985, during his second spell with the club, Rose recorded his 4,192nd career hit, surpassing Ty Cobb to become baseball’s all-time hits leader. The seventeen-time All-Star retired as a player following the 1986 season, finishing with 4,256 hits and a career batting average of .303. After an investigation by Major League Baseball into reports that Rose bet on baseball, including his own team, commissioner Bart Giamatti banned him from baseball for life, a decision which also made him ineligible for the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Many years later, Rose finally confessed to betting on baseball, including the Reds. Despite appeals throughout the years on his part for reinstatement, he remains banned from baseball to this day. On June 17, 2017, the Reds unveiled a statue of Rose along Joe Nuxhall Way just outside Great American Ball Park. Designed by Cincinnati-based artist and University of Cincinnati alumnus Tom Tsuchiya, the bronze sculpture depicts baseball’s all-time hits king sliding headfirst into a base.


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  • Hand, Temple, Tie, Gesture
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  • Sports uniform, Sports equipment, Shoe, Sports gear

Peter Edward Rose was born on April 14, 1941 in Cincinnati, Ohio. His father, Henry Francis Rose, a bank cashier and semiprofessional athlete, was determined to shape him into an athlete. The elder Rose encouraged his son to begin playing organized sports at a young age and instilled in him a hypercompetitive, play-to-win attitude that he himself possessed. He also insisted that his son learn to become a switch hitter during his early years. Later, the younger Rose attended Western Hills High School, where he starred on the football and baseball teams. His obsessive focus on athletics, however, led him to neglect his studies, which resulted in his failing the ninth grade. When the school offered him the option of either attending summer school or repeating the grade level, his father stepped in and chose the latter for him, arguing that the former would interfere with his son’s summer baseball plans.

Upon graduating high school in 1960, Rose signed with his hometown team, the Cincinnati Reds. He subsequently spent three years in the minors before making his major league debut on Opening Day of the 1963 season. In all, Rose enjoyed a twenty-four-season big league career, spending nineteen of those in Cincinnati. With the Reds from 1963 to 1978, he won three National League batting titles, two Gold Glove Awards, and one National League Most Valuable Player Award. With teammates Johnny Bench, Joe Morgan, and Tony Pérez, Rose helped propel Cincinnati’s “Big Red Machine” to four National League pennants and two World Series titles in the 1970s, collecting the 1975 World Series Most Valuable Player Award along the way. Before the 1979 season, the Reds traded him to the Phillies. While in Philadelphia, Rose helped the franchise win its first World Series title in 1980. The following year, he earned a Silver Slugger Award. Rose left the Phillies after the 1983 season and signed with the Montréal Expos. Midway through the 1984 season, however, the Expos traded him to Cincinnati, where he served as both a player and the team’s manager. The following season, Rose recorded his 4,192nd career hit, surpassing Ty Cobb to become baseball’s all-time hits leader. The seventeen-time All-Star retired as a player following the 1986 season, finishing with 4,256 hits and a career batting average of .303.

Rose continued to serve as the Reds manager for the 1987 and 1988 seasons. In March 1989, Major League Baseball commissioner Peter Ueberroth announced that the Reds skipper was under investigation by the league, but did not specify the reason. In subsequent days and weeks, stories broke about Rose’s gambling problem and accusations that he bet on baseball, including his own team. Rose vehemently denied the allegations. In August, after the league wrapped up its investigation, Bart Giamatti, Major League Baseball’s new commissioner, banned him from baseball for life, a decision which also made him ineligible for the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Many years later, Rose finally confessed to betting on baseball, including the Reds. Despite appeals throughout the years on his part for reinstatement, he remains banned from baseball to this day.

On June 17, 2017, the Reds unveiled a statue of Rose along Joe Nuxhall Way just outside Great American Ball Park. Designed by Cincinnati-based artist and University of Cincinnati alumnus Tom Tsuchiya, the bronze sculpture depicts baseball’s all-time hits king sliding headfirst into a base. In addition to Rose’s bronze likeness, Tsuchiya also sculpted the statues of Johnny Bench, Joe Morgan, and Tony Pérez, as well as those of Joe Nuxhall, Ernie Lombardi, Ted Klususki, and Frank Robinson, a group of pieces collectively known as Reds Legends of Crosley Field, all of which reside just outside Great American Ball Park. 

Footer, Alyson. "Reds reveal bronze statue of Pete Rose." mlb.com. 17 June 2017. Web. 10 July 2021 <https://www.mlb.com/news/reds-reveal-bronze-statue-of-pete-rose-c237097860>.

"Pete Rose." Encyclopædia Britannica. Web. 10 July 2021 <https://www.britannica.com/biography/Pete-Rose>.

Porter, David L., ed. Biographical Dictionary of American Sports. Baseball, Q-Z. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2000.

Swinton, Elizabeth. "This Day in Sports History: MLB Announces Investigation of Pete Rose." Sports Illustrated. 20 March 2020. Web. 10 July 2021 <https://www.si.com/mlb/2020/03/20/this-day-in-sports-mlb-announces-pete-rose-investigation>.

Image Sources(Click to expand)

https://www.wallpaperflare.com/pete-rose-bronze-statue-reds-opening-day-cincinnati-wallpaper-gwkuh

https://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/19663930/pete-rose-honored-cincinnati-reds-sculpture-depicting-headfirst-slide

https://news.wosu.org/news/2017-06-19/cincinnati-reds-unveil-sliding-pete-rose-statue

https://detroitsportsfrenzy.com/national-league/nl-east/cincinnati-reds/pete-rose-cincinnati-reds/