Baseball has a long history. Entire careers of journeyman players will inevitably get lost in the fog of time. And even if you’ve got your eye out, every now and then you’ll stumble upon a career that seems so otherworldly, you can’t understand why that other, more pretentious Hall of note hasn’t recognized obvious greatness.
Today we look at the long and forgotten career of Peter “Charles Hustle” Rose. Novices to the game might not recognize the name Peter Rose or his alias “Charles,” but to the true connoisseur, his hit totals are the stuff of legend. This wacky little sparkplug had something like 3,900 hits, and played in a whole mess of games.
Ask an Ohio native who watched the game throughout the mid 70’s and they’ll tell you about a utility man who hit for average, played a critical part in two World Series champions, and was named an All-Star 17 times. And yet, the silence from Cooperstown, who refuses to even put his name to a ballot remains a mystery. Who was this man?
Peter Rose made his debut at the age of 21, and from all accounts, played with his hair on fire, as seen here using his body to sever Ray Fosse’s shoulder in an All Star Game.
And the scrap did not die down there. Feel like brawlin during the ‘73 playoffs? Mr. Hustle’s got you covered
That’s just how it was done in the 70's. Rub some cocaine on it, boys.
As such, Peter decided early on not to spend too much money grooming his hair, given its inevitably torching. Just look at him diving face first into third base.
Look at that Charles Hustling happening. But strangest of all is that for a time, Peter was actually a really big name outside of baseball. He appeared in commercials as the affable ballplayer “Pete” and despite having the looks and charm of a mythical troll, a good number of consumers in the day say Peter’s face and wanted to buy whatever product he was selling.
And be sure to stick through the end to see how Mr. Rose celebrates getting some trim.
He flips the bat. Come on, Peter. Act like you’ve been there before. If you keep showing up the fairer sex like that Gloria Steinem is going to put the next one in your ear.
Yeah man. People might make fun of your hair if it was grey.
He also did this ad for Wheaties, which can only be gay code.
And while he currently ranks in the top ten in hits, maybe even top five, his power was certainly lacking. It seems as though the ball never really Hustled over the fence, and the modern advanced stat graders will tell you that he was also ranked in the top 10, maybe even top three, in at bats. So while notable, it seems as though he was a bit of a compiler. But that alone doesn’t explain his complete omission from baseball’s snobbiest hall.
Christ, even the Reds have to hide tributes to the guy in their own stadium.
Sick Easter Egg.
Another look shows that Peter became a manager, and while a legend in between the foul lines, his teams went a mere 412-373 for a pedestrian .525 winning percentage. Certainly not the stuff of legend, but nothing damning enough to prevent his inclusion.
Of course with a closer look, one can’t help but see a darker past lurking underneath the surface. As I found myself buried under old microfiche, I came across the sad admission that the man had a gambling problem. As somebody who has watched an aunt waste $30 a week chasing the dragon in various state scratch off tickets, I can tell you that “the scratch” can come at a hefty price. It goes without saying that gambling has ruined the man’s life. While nobody can confirm where the alias “Charlie Hustle” comes from, it doesn’t take a strong imagination to see how a man might turn to pornographers in an attempt to feed his addictions. Truly, we may never know what happened in his exile.
Today, Peter “Charlie Hustle” Rose makes the occasional autumn appearance on TBS, with a brand new terrible haircut, but maintains a relatively low profile, for one of the game’s greatest players. I had to admit that we considered not including him for the Hall of Really Good on the grounds that we were missing something. But in the end, it looks like his exclusion will remain a mystery lost to time.
All joking aside though, of course Peter was a gambler. Hell, do you think he wasn’t in on getting banned out of the hall of fame? Then how do you explain a “Rete Pose” putting in a $20,000 flyer on “Pete Rose does not make the Hall of Fame” back in 1987? The guy’s “punishment” made him half a million and forced that bookie Midnight Bobby to have to drink dog piss out of his shoe. You think Pete didn’t have a good laugh about that? You think he isn’t still laughing about it today?
Very funny, Pete. You were really good.