You don't have to be an old-time baseballer to recognize this fellow. He has or had more hits in the major leagues than any play ever and that alone is saying something.
He went to Western Hills HS in Cincinnati and my brother went to Colerain HS and they played each other during that time as they (my brother and Pete) were the same age almost exactly and had similar "careers" in high school in attendance only. My brother joined the DeMolay and into the same chapter as Pete did.
Today is the day old Pete went to prison for tax evasion for gambling winnings and failure to report them to the IRS. That was 20 years ago give or take. The feds never nailed him for gambling winnings during his time in baseball when he bet regularly - even on his own team - and eventually got pretty much "persona non grata" as a result.
Fifteen years ago I was in Santa Monica and one of my accounts was Western Auto/Sears. We had some money to spend and we were buying advertising on a lot of baseball properties - well because of some good reasons and some of the Sears guys wanted exotic baseball "packages" that the networks offered as incentives if you bought advertising. Pete Rose had a baseball talk show for some reason and I got a call from his producer looking for advertising money and would we sponsor him yada yada.
I got that call on the evening of TWA 800 at my apartment and was just off the phone with home in NY and watching the coverage.
"Can Pete call you now"?
"This is Pete Rose..the greatest ballplayer..."
"When can Pete all you"?
"Why does he want to call me?"
"Just to thank you for advertising on his program".
"NO" tell him to call on Saturday.
"This is Pete Rose...how ya' doin' fella?"
"Thanks for advertising on my program..."
"I'm not buying advertising on your program".
"This is Pete Rose..."
"Yeah I know. My brother played against you in HS".
"Wow that's great what was his name"?
"Mike but you don't know him so don't pretend".
"Look Mr. Rose. You were a great player. You also are one of the most dishonorable people ever to play. I used to run ticker tape for Waite Hoyte at Crosley Field so my time with the Cincinnati Reds goes back 40 years. Call me back in 40 more years and I'll reconsider".
I hung up. I was rude. I apologize. What I will never understand is when gifted individuals have the world on a silver platter - not the world of a baseball diamond or a football field or for that matter a golf course and due to their exploits are given carte blanche to the rest of life and they blow it. I guess its because they are, in essence, "one note Johnnys" who only have that one gift and no others.