That’s where the former great who led the Phillies to the 1980 World Series title is ranked by The Athletic:
There are so many things to say about Pete Rose — his playing, his gambling, his hustle, his competitiveness, his mistakes, his triumphs, his family, his stubbornness, his hits, his misses, his suspension, his records, his crimes, his passion … where do you begin?
He is sitting in that sports memorabilia store in Las Vegas, and he is selling his autograph, and barkers are outside trying to draw people in by shouting, “Come see the Hit King!” He is older and heavier but still very much Pete Rose, unmistakeable, undaunted, and he kicks out the metal folding chair that stands next to him, and he says, “Sit down!” as both an invitation and a challenge.
Where do you begin with Pete Rose?
One question that comes to mind is this: Could any of us have been Pete Rose? That is not to ask if any of us could have lived the erratic and striking life Rose has lived or gotten 4,256 hits but instead to ask: Could any of us, if we had just wanted it badly enough — if we had just wanted it as badly as Pete Rose himself — could any of us have played Major League Baseball?
Did the rest of us who did not make it to the big leagues simply not want it enough?
Or did Pete Rose want it too much?