Charlie Hustle and his Corked Bat
I was listening to Tom Cheek and Jerry Howarth call the Jays game on CJCL 1430 the afternoon Pete Rose set the all-time career hits record. I remember a recorded piece by Sparky Anderson came on to set the scene and tell us all history had been made. Pete Rose had more major league hits than anyone who had ever played the game of baseball and I thought that was pretty awesome.
I've long argued that Pete Rose should be in Cooperstown. I like the Hall of Fame to be about what happened on the field, between the white lines. When it came to playing baseball, Pete Rose is a shoe-on for Hall of Fame honours, and it always bothered me that Charlie Hustle wasn't eligible.
I read about Pete Rose's corked bat on Deadspin. "You're looking at an X-ray of a Mizuno PR4192 bat, commissioned by Pete Rose specifically for his 1985 chase of baseball's all-time hits record. Inside, clear as day, is a piece of foreign material, about 6 inches long, and the diameter of a nickel. "
I don't care whether corking a bat actually helps or hinders a batter, rule 6.06(d) prohibits the use of corked bats. It's against the rules, and Pete Rose did it anyway, believing it gave him an edge while he chased history.
It's funny, but his gambling and lies about it never tainted my opinion of Charlie Hustle, but this does. Rose cheated.
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