April 8, 2013

Rose debuted 50 years ago and today he’s hawking furniture

Pete Rose showing off his excellent taste in head-gear.

Pete Rose showing off his excellent taste in head-gear.

Aside: At first I wrote that headline as “hocking” furniture, since I’ve really only heard, and not read, the phrase. After a little internet research I realized that, in that sentence, “hocking” would mean “pawning.”

Thought I think Rose probably makes enough money writing things on baseballs that he doesn’t need to hock the end tables, I still think it might be a Freudian slip. After all, pawn shops do kind of bring to mind the same ambiance as I imagine being around Rose basically all of the time.

The Hardball Times is marking today as the 50th anniversary of Pete Rose’s major league debut. Chris Jaffe says:

Rose has been such a big name for such a long time that it’s easy to assume he’s always been part of the baseball landscape, but of course that wasn’t the case. Fifty years ago today he was just a cocky young middle infielder who was certain he belonged in the major leagues.

In his first trip to the big league plate on April 8, 1963, Rose got on base, though without getting a hit. Pirates pitcher Earl Francis walked him. Though Rose typically looked for a hit, he wasn’t excessively aggressive. He walked in about one-tenth of his big league trips, ending his career with 1,566 walks, 14th most all time.

Chris provides a lot more details, and also enumerates a load of other events that make today special in history. Read the whole story over at The Hardball Times.

I’ve been on vacation for over a week, so last night was the first regular-season Reds game I’ve gotten to watch on TV. And so while we’re on the topic of Rose anyway, I wanted to draw attention to this Muenchens Furniture commercial featuring him and his fiancee (or did they get married already? Hits and Mrs was taken off the air before I got completely steeped in minutia of Rose’s personal life):

“Wow! We’ll take it all!”…it’s just so poignant.

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