GREAT BASEBALL NICKNAMES– ‘CHARLIE HUSTLE ‘ – PETE ROSE

Pete Rose Cincinnati Reds 1960s | Pete rose, Cincinnati reds, Reds baseball

Great Baseball Nicknames- ‘Charlie Hustle’- Pete Rose. One of the most controversial athletes of the 20th century- due to his being kicked out of the game and banned from the Hall of Fame due to his gambling. Pete Rose is the all time hits leader with 4256 career hits- but he is also the player who made the most outs while at bat.

Pete Rose clearly loved his nickname ‘Charlie Hustle’ but when it was given to him by Yankees pitcher and future Hall of Famer Whitey Ford- he was being made fun of. It was spring training in 1963 and Rose was a 21 year old rookie. As Yankee Tony Kubek told the story -“Mickey Mantle, Whitey Ford and I were stranding around on the sidelines. Up comes the Reds third base coach Reggie Otero who whispers to us “Wait’ll you get a load of this kid. He goes down to first base in four seconds” Whitey says ” Big Deal. Mickey can get down in 3.5″ Otero says “Oh yeah? This kid does it on a base on balls.”So Whitey, a great bench jockey starts riding this enthusiastic kid. He starts making fun of him, screaming out “Charlie Hustle’ this, “Charlie Hustle’ that. The name stuck.

Just my two cents but I saw Rose play. During his career I never thought this but now 35 years or so after his career has ended and what has gone down since with him- I wonder… There were a lot of players over the years that gave 110% at all times but never made a big deal about it they just played hard. It became Rose’s calling card. Rose seems to me even as he approaches 80 as a guy who thrives on attention. He is that kid who was in your class who was constantly wanting everyone’s attention- all the time. I think a lot of Rose’s hustle was fake hustle. Does a hitter on a walk need to sprint to first base? Or run in full speed at the end of an inning from the outfield? Rose got attention for these antics. Did he play hard when it mattered? Of course he did- but there was a lot of mustard on that hot dog.

It's Time for Baseball to Forgive Pete Rose - WSJ

14 responses to “GREAT BASEBALL NICKNAMES– ‘CHARLIE HUSTLE ‘ – PETE ROSE

  1. For some reason he was my favorite player when I was a little kid… can’t really say I know why given that I didn’t get to see many games on TV and lived in canada… but I liked the Reds and Pete always seemed to be in the midst of everything they did to win. I was quite happy too when he briefly played in Canada with les’ Expos. In retrospect… he is rather a jerk as a person but he was a great player. I doubt anyone will ever catch up to 4256 hits… I mean, get 200 in a year. Then do it the next year. And 18 more years in a row…and you still have a long way to go. If I had a little boy playing ball I’d tell him Pete is the guy you need to emulate on the diamond… and the one you’d darn well better NOT emulate off it.

    • In the late 70’s- my Pirates made a bid for his services- part of the proposed deal was- the Pirate owners the Galbreath family were into horse racing- and part of the deal was ownership of one of their horses. Pete even then was well known for his gambling I guess…

  2. You know…even without the things that happened. He was just an unlikeable fella when he played. I never got to see him play though…of course, I hated the Reds but liked a lot of the players but not Rose.

    • As a Pirate fan I hated the Reds also- but admired the likes of Morgan, Bench and Perez. Rose was and is a jerk. Not the sharpest tool in the shed.

    • No he wasn’t. I did like those guys also and Dave Concepcion…and I had to like Sparky. That was a great team. Foster also…I met him around 10 years ago at a Dodger game up there. He was a very nice man.
      I have the 75 World Series on DVD…I didn’t see it live but I love watching it. The Red Sox could have won that just as easily as the Reds. I know it’s been said before but that 6th game was something else. The homerun that was shocking to me was Carbo’s…he looked awful in that at bat but he got all of that last one. Just an incredible game.

    • That was a great series. Got to wonder if Jim Rice hadn’t been hurt… but of course the Red Sox would have probably found a way to lose…

    • it was incredible. i was rooting for the red sox… when Carbo hit that home run…. Evans great catch.. then of course Pudge Fisk’s game topper. his waving it fair. you couldn’t have written a better script. i think between now and opening day i will get that series out and watch it again… a great all around series.

    • They gave that game- and series a lot of credit in bringing back baseball…. baseball always seems to go up and down- and back up… it will rise again. Seems like no matter what the owners do to the game it manages to survive.

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