On Sunday afternoon in front of a sellout crowd, the Cincinnati Reds finally retired the No. 14. The number was worn by Pete Rose, baseball’s all time leader in hits and an All-Star 17 times during his career with the Reds.
Thirty years after Rose retired from baseball the Reds honored him on Sunday by retiring his number. Rose ended his playing career with 4,256 career hits and prior to the game on Sunday against the San Diego Padres, the Cincinnati Reds organization honored Rose by retiring the No. 14.
Rose was presented by the Reds with a sculpture showing him after the hit, which was 4,192 for his career, that broke the all-time record held at that time by Ty Cobb.
He also received a painting of him in his patented headfirst slide, which helped him earn his nickname of Charlie Hustle.
As Rose started to speak, Great American Ball Park fans began to chant, “Pete Rose, Pete Rose.”
He told the sellout crowd they could not make him cry.
Bob Castellini the CEO of the Reds told Reds fans during the pregame ceremony that this was a salute to that player whose impact on baseball transcends their lifetime and will spare any player in the future the impossible task of trying to live up to a legacy that is too big to fill.
Pete Rose Jr., his son, threw the ceremonial first pitch of Sunday’s game to Rose.
The weekend was a whirlwind for Rose. He also joined his former teammates from the Big Red Machine of 1976 that won the World Series in a ceremony prior to Friday’s game. He was then given an induction into the Hall of Fame for the Reds on Saturday.
Rose, as most everyone in sports or at least in baseball know was given a ban for life from the sport back in 1989 due to his betting on games the Reds played while he was a player and while he managed the team.
After he unsuccessfully petitioned the commissioner of Major League Baseball Rob Manfred in 2015 to be reinstated, the Cincinnati Reds organizations announced its plans of honoring Rose this past weekend. Manfred then approved those plans.
Rose is now the 10th member of the Cincinnati Reds to have his number retired by the club.
Many baseball pundits feel that Rose should be reinstated to the game and should be a unanimous choice to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.