Pete Rose is the all time "Hit King" who was Rookie of the Year in the sixties and Player of the Decade in teh seventies. His career in baseball is legendary, and his headlines as a manager have been even more successful.
Peter Edward Rose was born April 14, 1941 in Cincinnati, Ohio. He grew up in Anderson Ferry, Ohio as one of four children to Harry and LaVerne Rose. Pete was encouraged as a young boy to participate in sports. His father, who played semiprofessional football, was the biggest influence on Pete and his sports career.
Rose spent his childhood playing baseball with friends and later played for his local little league team. He played both baseball and football at Western Hills High School. Rose played well in high school and signed a contract with the Cincinnati Reds after his high school graduation. He was assigned to play for the Reds minor league team in Geneva, New York. Rose improved his game, and was promoted through the ranks of the Reds organization for the next couple of years. During that time, he played for the Reds farm team in Tampa, Florida and also played for the Class B team in Macon, Georgia.
By the start of the 1963 season, Pete was the Reds' regular at second base. His hard working style prompted Hall-of-Fame Yankee pitcher Whitey Ford to label him "Charlie Hustle," a nickname that Rose would be known by for the rest of his career. He hit .273 that season and played in nearly every game. He was rewarded for his efforts that season and was named National League Rookie of the Year in 1963.
Rose's playing flourished from 1965 to 1973. He consistently batted over .300 and Pete was an important component to the "Big Red Machine" that dominated the National League in the 1970's. During this time, Rose played on four league champions and two World Series winners. In 1975, Pete was named the World Series Most Valuable Player, Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year and The Sporting News Man of the Year.
As a free agent in 1978, Pete signed to play for the Philadelphia Phillies. Similar to his days with the Reds, Rose was instrumental on the Phillies pennant winning teams in 1980 and 1983 and led the team to the World Series Championship in 1980.
Prior to the 1984 season, Pete signed to play with the Montreal Expos. That relationship however was short lived. Rose was given the chance to return to the Reds during the summer of 1984. Once he was told that he could both act as a manager as well as play, his decision was made. On August 16, 1984, Pete was again a Cincinnati Red. On September 11, of the following year, Pete established his place in baseball history when he set the all-time major league hit record of 4,192 breaking Hall of Famer Ty Cobb's mark of 4,191. Pete totaled an amazing 4,256 hits by the time of his retirement.
Rose retired from baseball after the 1986 season. His days with the Reds were not over though. He served as manager from 1985 to 1988, helping the Reds to 4 consecutive 2nd place finishes and was considered to be one of the best managers in baseball.