A Day With Peter Edward Rose Revisited
Regardless of your view of Peter Edward Rose, this hit, 4192, was immortal. Something we will never see again in our lifetime. Something I witnessed at nine years old, when my father had an extra ticket and decided to take his son. I sat with my Uncle Hero, up in the Green Seats in deep centerfield. They always talk about how long the standing ovation lasted (over ten minutes) and I remember it feeling like forever. Even though Riverfront Stadium is long gone, and Pete Rose is shunned from Major League Baseball (gambling had nothing to do with his hits) -- I still regard this as one of the defining moments in my life. It made me love baseball more than most other things. Made it a religion. Devout.
Coincidence and Conspiracy riddle the date. September 11th, 1985. Another shadow that looms over Rose. When I heard MLB was allowing Rose back on a baseball field, to celebrate 25 years later, it was a given that I'd take my father. J. Duane Elliott, for his birthday (September 10th, 2010). He brought me to the games for the last 33 years, so I owed him. I like him much more than Pete. Dad's the real hero.
The anniversary festivities were a bit underwhelming. Pete can walk around an MLB field, but can't speak on one. His taped comments were probably the best part. To hear him advise young players to come clean before the hammer comes down -- it actually humbling. Pete should'a talked way back when. When they would'a just suspended him a season or two, then embrace him back and let him become a legendary manager, with a gamblin' hiccup in his career. Too little, too late, but at least he's telling the Roger Clemens of the game to fess up quick.
Pete circled the Great American Ball Park in a golf cart, stomped on first base, met some old legends (Eric Davis, a childhood favorite), accepted a crystal trophy, and got a few "hall of fame" chants from the surprisingly small crowd (for this event anyways). He'll make it. In his lifetime I hope. In my lifetime I hope. A trip to Cooperstown is necessary. Something I hope my father and I can share -- like this game, like the first game.
Our game? Well, the Reds have been hit or miss as of late, but this night was all about the comeback heroics we've seen all year. Saw the Chapman give up the lead, but pitch a 103 MPH fastball and a 90 MPH slider (thee nasty boy/el muchacho repugnante) and then saw Joey Votto-matic launch an opposite field home run to win the game, break the tie in the bottom of the 10th. On that night, things seemed perfect.
Sub. Ref. box seats