Pete Rose Breaks Baseball's All-Time Hit Record: See Photos | Time

Great Baseball Moments- Pete Rose Breaks Ty Cobb’s Hit Record- #4192- September 11, 1985.

By the time Pete Rose finally broke Ty Cobb’s record for hits at #4192- in my mind it was kind of tarnished. The only reason that Pete Rose was still playing was to break that record. A case could be made that the last great year he had on the field was 1979- and that past 1981 he was finished. But Pete Rose was driven to break that record and teams were willing to employ him. Anyway Pete kept playing and it helped his cause in 1984 when he became player- manager of the Cincinnati Reds- and could pencil his name into the line-up.

In 1985 at the age of 44 he went to the plate 501 times- he was determined this would be the year. Finally on September 11, 1985 at Riverfront Stadium in Cincinnati he broke Ty Cobb’s record of 4191 hits in a career. In the first inning of a game against the San Diego Padres and pitcher Eric Show- he singled [appropriate that his record breaker was a single… Mickey Mantle once said remarking on Rose- ‘If I played my career hitting single like Pete Rose, I’d wear a dress.’] to left- center field- the record was broken. Note- Ty Cobb’s career batting average was .366 the highest batting average in history- Pete Rose- career average .303.


  1. I remember seeing this and it didn’t affect me too much. He probably wishes now he would have retired in 79…he may have avoided all of the trouble that he got into.

  2. After Rose’s record breaking hit, the celebrations dragged on for twenty minutes and pitcher Eric Show sat down on the mound in frustration, drawing criticism even from his teammates. Show would be dead only nine years later from drugs.

  3. Well,have to disagree Hans. I can certainly get not liking the guy – it would be hard TO like Pete – but it doesn’t take away from his play. ’79 his last great year… in ’81 he led the league in hits and hit .325. But what you’re saying is probably partly true… last couple of seasons he was really only motivated to get that record book. Reminds me of Cal Ripken that way…. excellent and durable player but he probably would have done Orioles a favor taking a few days off in second half of his streak. Still… Ripken’s and Rose’s records, two I doubt we’ll ever see broken.

    • Teams won’t let Ripken’s streak be broken- they won’t let a player get up there like that again. I think earlier in the season I heard the longest current streak was like in the 200’s… now the hit streak- I could see it being broken-but its unlikely.

    • I figured Ichiro, if he’d come over about 5 years sooner would have been a candidate… you need a guy who’d be both very durable, fast (to beat out infield singles) and probably not hitting too many homers – so as to make pitchers not be afraid of pitching to him. Ripken’s – I just looked it up, the last one who “Seemed” close to getting there was Prince Fielder and he was just at 547… then gone from the game basically.

    • I was thinking Ichiro too- if he had been 21 instead of 27…. I forget who had 200 plus I think it was someone with Kansas City. I think the streak with Cal became such a distraction- no team is going to let someone get a big streak going.

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