When Pete Rose almost broke the record in Chicago, he didn’t endear himself to owner Marge Schott of the Reds, who was sure he’d wait until he got to Cincinnati, but he got high marks from Washington Post columnist Thomas Boswell.
Wrote Boswell: “On Sunday, Rose put aside every selfish and even sensible consideration just so he could play the game right.
“When all the smart money said, ‘Don’t play,’ he played. When he should not have hit, he hit. When, down to the very last inning, he could have played it safe with a sacrifice bunt, Manager Pete Rose told batter Pete Rose to swing away and try his darndest to spoil his own greatest moment.
“At least to one man, baseball remains a game, yet hasn’t become a toy. In a season full of drug scandal and labor bluff, Rose showed that somebody still knows what the threadbare phrases ‘integrity of the sport’ and ‘best interests of the game’ really mean.
“Maybe a quarter-century of sweat teaches you more about what’s right than all the books Rose never read in the college he never attended.”
Trivia Time: Cub Manager Jim Frey said he was hoping Pete Rose would break the record in Chicago but not at the expense of his team. What do they have in common? (Answer below.)
Add Rose: As a manager, he has few rules, and he told Steve Jacobson of Newsday that he dislikes meetings.
Recalling when Dave Bristol managed the Reds, Rose said: “After every loss, it seemed like he called a meeting. He’d come in and say, ‘Get that damn food out of here.’ He’d throw it around. What good does that do?
“If you’re going to lose, why do you want to starve, too?”
Last Sunday at Anaheim Stadium, Barry Redden netted 46 yards and Charles White 83 yards for a total of 129 yards. Last year, Eric Dickerson averaged 132 yards a game.
Make of that what you want.
Said relief pitcher Bruce Sutter of the Atlanta Braves when asked if he was bothered by the boos at St. Louis when he faced his former team, the Cardinals: “Not at all. It’s the same response I get in Atlanta.”
Said Washington Redskin Coach Joe Gibbs last week as Joe Theismann approached his 36th birthday: “When a quarterback gets older, the first signs of his slowing down, that he is pacing himself, is that he stops running and starts forcing the ball more and more in passing situations. If anything, Joe has become more patient and is less likely to throw it where he shouldn’t. He has also grown to where he knows he can’t make a play every time. He doesn’t let one bad play lead to another.”
Gary Player, on the necessity of practice: “They say Sam Snead is a natural golfer. But if he didn’t practice, he’d be a natural bad golfer.”
Illinois quarterback Jack Trudeau didn’t get much sympathy in the Chicago press after throwing four interceptions in the 20-10 loss to USC.
Said Bernie Lincicome of the Chicago Tribune: “Had he been, for example, experimenting in the campus science lab, we might now be picking up pieces of quarterback as far away as Memphis.”
Trivia Answer: Both are graduates of Western Hills High School in Cincinnati.
Pete Rose, saying he and Ty Cobb probably would have gotten along: “He’d probably like to have me hit in front of him.”