CINCINNATI, Ohio – Eighteen years after he was banned from baseball, Pete Rose is about to be feted in his hometown with the first major public treatment of his 24-year playing career. “Pete: The Exhibit” officially opens Saturday at the Reds Hall of Fame and Museum, but the Hit King himself will be on hand today to kick off a fundraiser for patrons who have paid up to $250 for a private showing. “There will never be another sports figure like Pete Rose – and maybe that’s a good thing,” said Greg Smith, 56, of West Chester, Ohio, a fan since Rose’s rookie season in 1963. That year, Smith collected his first Rose item, a baseball signed by the Cincinnati Kid at a public appearance at MacGregor Sporting Goods company. “Every Reds player since Pete has been measured against him,” Smith said. “And nobody can match the way he played the game, and all that he achieved.” Visitors to the exhibit will be greeted by a quote from Sparky Anderson, who took over as Reds manager in 1970, when Rose was a 28-year-old two-time defending batting champion. “He is Cincinnati,” reads Anderson’s quote. “He’s the Reds.” Former Reds star Barry Larkin, the next Red in line for a shot at Cooperstown, can understand. “When I played shortstop (as a boy in Cincinnati), I was Davey Concepcion,” he says. “But when I was on the bases, I was Pete Rose, right on down to the headfirst slide. Everybody in Cincinnati who played ball was that way. If you didn’t come home wearing a dirty jersey, you just weren’t playing hard.” The more than 300 items in the exhibit (partially sponsored by The Cincinnati Enquirer) are contributed by two dozen mostly Cincinnati-area collectors. Many of them are high-end, and all of significance: nearly 100 milestone baseballs, 20 bats, six major trophies and awards, 50 photos and pieces of art, and Rose’s rookie-year second baseman’s glove, one of 25 pieces of game-used gear. There isn’t a gambling slip or a memorabilia item for sale anywhere in sight. “The debate and controversy over Pete will continue, but the whole purpose of this exhibit is to put the focus back on Pete’s playing career,” museum director Greg Rhodes said. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
admin January 11, 2020 stuwajku