Today in history 1984 …..Pete Rose passes Ty Cobb’s single hits record.

The record at that time was 3,053.   Pete Rose has a lot of major league records.   He’s the all time Major League leader in hits (4,256), in games played (3,562) in at-bats (14,053) and in outs (10,328).   Rose went on to hit another 162 singles and still holds that record of 3,215.  Pete Rose is one of baseball’s most controversial figures after publicly admitting in 2004 that he had bet on baseball and on his own team, the Cincinnati Reds. 

On  August 31, 1989, after weeks of  legal wrangling, Commissioner Bart Giamatti permanently bans Pete Rose from baseball for his alleged gambling on major league games. Although the five-page document signed by both parties includes no formal findings, Giamatti says that he considers Rose’s acceptance of the ban to be a no-contest plea to the charges

But here’s what’s interesting.   Rose played from 1963 to 1986.  That’s 24 years.  And these records plus others listed below still hold.   We’ve seen lots of talent in the past 50 years and still, Pete Rose holds all these records.  Think of baseball greats like Willie Mays, Ted Williams, Cal Ripken, Stan Musial, Mickey Mantle, Rickey Henderson, Carl Yazstremski, Ken Griffey, Brooks Rob inson, and on and on.   I guess that’s why I find this day in history interesting and just a little disturbing.   I’m thinking particularly of  Baseball’s Hall of Fame.  Take a look at the following records that Pete Rose holds today:

Major League records:

    • Most career hits – 4,256
    • Most career outs – 10,328
    • Most career games played – 3,562
    • Most career at bats – 14,053
    • Most career singles – 3,215
    • Most career runs by a switch hitter – 2,165
    • Most career doubles by a switch hitter – 746
    • Most career walks by a switch hitter – 1,566
    • Most career total bases by a switch hitter – 5,752
    • Most seasons of 200 or more hits – 10
    • Most consecutive seasons of 100 or more hits – 23
    • Most consecutive seasons with 600 or more at bats – 13 (1968–1980)
    • Most seasons with 600 at bats – 17
    • Most seasons with 150 or more games played – 17
    • Most seasons with 100 or more games played – 23
    • Record for playing in the most winning games – 1,972
    • Only player in major league history to play more than 500 games at five different positions – 1B (939), LF (671), 3B (634), 2B (628), RF (595)
  • National League records:
    • Most years played – 24
    • Most consecutive years played – 24
    • Most career runs – 2,165
    • Most career doubles – 746
    • Most career games with 5 or more hits – 10
    • Modern (post-1900) record for longest consecutive game hitting streak – 44
    • Modern record for most consecutive hitting streaks of 20 or more games – 7

The National Baseball Hall of Fame honors  persons who have excelled in playing, managing, and serving the sport.  The Hall’s Motto:  “Preserving History, Honoring Excellence, Connecting Generations”.    I don’t know about you, but I don’t think history’s meant to be “selective”.   I don’t have a problem with the asterisk crowd ~ oh, okay, go ahead and put an asterisk by the name and list what you want,  but for pete’s sake (no pun intended) list the accomplishments as accomplishments, and the small stuff  if you must.   But fame is fame and if the Hall of Fame is to be truly a Hall of Fame shouldn’t it  include those records and achievements that are so substantial they remain as unbeaten records 26 years later?


5 responses to “Today in history 1984 …..Pete Rose passes Ty Cobb’s single hits record.

  1. Loney Kennedy

    Right On Ronni!!!!!!
    If you check players already inducted, you will see people a lot less acceptable characterwise. Ty Cobb was no angel!
    I personally did not like Pete Rose, but skill is skill. “Put Pete in the Hall!”


  2. Richard Hausman

    Perhaps you should re-read Bart Giamatti’s “Statement Released to the Press on the Pete Rose Matter.” The opening sentences indelibly outline why Rose does not belong in the HOF: The banishment for life of Pete Rose from baseball is the sad end of a sorry episode. One of the game’s greatest players has engaged in a variety of acts which have stained the game, and he must live with the consequences of those acts.

    We’re not talking about angels, we’re talking about a person who “stained the game;” a person who violated the cardinal rule in baseball. As such, Giamatti was correct: banishment for life.


    • C’mon. Stained the game? Surely baseball has more staying power than one person’s shady character. A record’s a record. But a lot of fans agree with you and I respect your opinion. Thanks for sharing. GFBB


  3. I played ball and have coached for many years. I ask you and ask Selig, Gia and any one else these questions.
    If you put a picture of a person that defines baseball and how it should be played in the dictionary who would it be? Rose
    If you ask 100 mom and dads “If I could flick a switch and your son could play ball and accopmlish that which Pete Rose did” how many would say yes? Oh I have ask that question to everyone I know around baseball, no one has EVER said NO.
    The man defined the game.
    Understanding the way the man played “ALL OUT” is to understand the way the guy thought. WIN, WIN, WIN. He just so happens to have played and won more ball games of any type than any athlete in history. Losing is not in the guys vocabulary or way of thinking.
    So, if he bet on a game, fine him. Geeze give him one year suspension.
    I’ll BET he never bet to lose.
    He is the definition of a baseball player, and the player that every dad wish that their son could play and be like.

    There are many, many, many many athletes who have bet, murdered, drugs, beat the hell out of their wives, kid etc etc.
    Well you get the point.

    Martha Stewart sat on the board of the NY stock exchange, the panel that is set to up hold the law and integrity of the Stock Market, hell she got a TV how and more money.
    Pete Rose needs to be in the Hall.
    Alsom every kid should be taught about him and how he played the game and strive for such perfection. Then be educated on mistakes, guidelines what is appropriate and what is not.
    May we see another Pete Rose in my life time. I hope it is one of mine or one that i have coached or will coach.


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