2010 is the first year since 1959 that Pete Rose or Pete Rose Jr. haven’t either played or managed in a baseball game. That is impressive that a father and son have worn a professional baseball uniform for 50 years. The dad may have played the game better but they both had a burning desire to play baseball.
Pete Rose Jr. is not playing organized baseball for the first time since 1989. He made his only appearance in the major leagues for the Cincinnati Reds in 1997 playing in 11 games and made 16 plate appearances while hitting .143.
He made two errors in his 11 chances with the Reds so he did nothing to impress the Reds offensively or defensively.
Rose Jr. has doggedly pursued his dream of returning to the majors till he was released by the York Revolution of the Atlantic independent league last fall.
When typing his name into the search box for his photo most of the photos were of his dad including some with his dad’s girlfriend but very few of himself. Then I did a search for him being in the news and a article about his dad watching Stephen Strasburg pitch was at top of the search list which of course included a photo of Rose and his girlfriend again.
So he continues to live in the shadow of his dad and even spent time in prison in 2006 like his dad when he served a month in prison for distributing performance enhancers to his minor league teammates. He claimed he distributed the performance enhancers so his teammates could relax after games.
It is doubtful that any baseball player has spent more time in the minor leagues than Rose. He spent 21 years in the minors with six different organizations and wore 24 different uniforms in the minors plus spent two winters playing in Nicaragua.
He spent part of the 2003 season playing for Cordoba of the Mexican League and only played independent baseball the last six years of his career.
After 21 minor league seasons he had hit 158 home runs and had driven in 994 runs while hitting .271. He mostly played third base and first base during his career but only played shortstop once.
He was a 19 year kid who was drafted 295th by the Baltimore Orioles in the 1988 amateur draft. He was 19 when he made his professional baseball debut with the Erie Orioles in 1989 and was 39 when he played his last game in 2009 for the York Revolution.
Any other player without the last name of Rose may have been out of baseball in five or six years but Rose loved the game of baseball enough to play it till he was 39. His dad instilled the love of baseball in him and the older he got the more he looked like his dad and wasn’t the Petey Rose that was there for his dad’s record breaking 4,192nd hit.
That day meant more to Pete Rose Jr. than just the record. It was the first time he had seen his dad who had been a tough dad cry and his dad told his son he loved him. All the baseball records in the world couldn’t have meant more to Pete Rose Jr.
If the coaching of Pete Rose Jr. is counted the father and son have a combined 51 years in baseball and with the love of the game by Pete Rose Jr. he may be in the game another 25 years which would make 76 years in baseball for the Roses.
His baseball career may not have ended the way he wanted but he can say he followed his dream to the end and although the final destination wasn’t the major leagues he did it his way.