View Count: 74 |  Publish Date: April 14, 2013
Pete Rose brought hustle, first hit 50 years ago
Joe Kay, Associated PressPosted: Saturday, April 13, 2013, 2:29 AM
CINCINNATI - Pete Rose drew a walk on four pitches in his first plate appearance in the major leagues. Then, he sped to first base.
No slowing him down, either then or 4,256 hits later.
Baseballs all-time hits leader got his start 50 years ago this week, making his debut with the Reds in Cincinnati on April 8, 1963. After getting that walk in his first game and making 11 straight outs in the next few, he finally got on base using his bat - smacking a triple off Pittsburghs Bob Friend on April 13.
It wasnt long before the switch-hitting, barrel-chested Rose epitomized a no-holds-barred approach to baseball that others imitated, then and now. A half-century later, Charlie Hustle is still in style.
I dont know if anybody ever has played the game as hard as he has, Washingtons Bryce Harper said. I try to mirror my game after him every single day I go out there.
For Rose, it was ordinary to sprint to first base after a walk or fling himself into the next base, leaving dirt on his chest and scrapes on his forearms.
I was always a good player, but never the best player, and I was always small, Rose said, in a phone interview. Thats why all through my Little League career I was a catcher. I got to high school and I was too damn small to be a catcher, so they put me at second base.
Because I was small, I always had to do things other people didnt do to try to win games - be risky on the base paths, slide headfirst, run . . . from start to go. Thats the way I played.
He already had a nickname when the Reds made the surprising decision to start him at second base ahead of the popular Don Blasingame on opening day 1963. After Rose sprinted to first after a walk and reached over the outfield fence trying to catch a way-out-of-here home run during spring training, Yankees pitcher Whitey Ford dubbed him Charlie Hustle.
It wasnt that other guys took it easy. There were plenty of great players around. It was just the importance Rose seemed to attach to every pitch, every at-bat. From the Sports Desk Latest Sports Stories  Marlins 1, Phillies 0  Flyers lose fourth in a row  M. Young sick, Galvis to start  Will the Eagles trade down?  Phillies face pitching phenom More Sports » Latest Sports Blogs  The Phillies Zone: Michael Young is sick; Freddy Galvis makes first start about 2 hours ago Pattison Ave.: Bryant an immeasureable loss for Lakers 5:03pm Bleacher Report Eagles Players Who Should See Their Role Expand in 2013 Why 76ers, Collins Need Break Up What Flyers Can Learn from the Rangers About Blue Line Rebuilding Can Cole Get Back on Track with Eagles in 2013? Phillies Hottest Starts That Will Continue

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