By Dave Wischnowsky–
So, apparently, you can get a managing gig if your name is Pete Rose.
Just as long as there’s a “Junior” attached to the end of it.
On Monday, an interesting little tidbit of news broke on the South Side of Chicago when the White Sox announced that 41-year-old Pete Rose Jr. – son of Major League Baseball’s banned all-time hits leader, Pete Sr., and a former Pale Hose farmhand – has been named manager of their Bristol (Tenn.) team in the Advanced Rookie League.
Now, Ozzie Guillen isn’t going to manage the White Sox forever, you know. And, while I wouldn’t, ahem, bet on Pete Jr. eventually succeeding Guillen in the dugout at U.S. Cellular Field – before working as a hitting coach last season with a team in the Frontier League, Rose had no previous coaching experience – I suppose you never know.
And, just in case, I thought we should all get to know Pete Rose Jr. a little better. So, here are some things about Charlie Hustle II that you might not know…
He had a cup of coffee
Pete Jr. couldn’t swing a bat like his dad, but in 1997, at the age of 27, he did put together a pretty darn good minor league season for the Chattanooga Lookouts.
In 112 games, Pete Jr. hit .308 with 25 home runs, 31 doubles and 75 runs scored. That was good enough to get him an 11-game stint in the Big Leagues with the Cincinnati Reds.
In Cincy, however, Pete Jr. hit like his dad didn’t, compiling a meager .143 average in 11 games. In his first plate appearance, however, he memorably paid homage to his father, imitating Pete Sr.’s famous crouched batting stance.
He isn’t Pete Sr.’s only well-known child
Pete Rose Sr. has been married twice and had two children – a pair of boys and a pair of girls (he always did like doubles) – with each wife.
Pete Jr., who spent 16 years knocking around the minor leagues as a player until hanging it up in 2009, is the best known of the four Rose kids. But, he’s not the only one to lead a public life.
Pete Sr.’s youngest daughter, 21-year-old Cara – who goes by the stage name of Chea Courtney – appeared on the soap operas Melrose Place and Passions during the early 2000s.
He’s part of an elite group
According to Major League Baseball, as of Sept. 4, 2010, 17,289 men have played in the Big Leagues. But there have been only 106 father-and-son combinations to turn that trick, including Pete Rose Sr. and Pete Rose Jr.
He’s had his own troubles
Pete Sr.’s gambling problems are well known – just ask Jim Gray – but Pete Jr. has had personal struggles of his own. In 2005, he pled guilty to charges of distributing GBL (which can be used as a steroid alternative) to his Chattanooga Lookouts teammates during the late 1990s.
Pete Jr. spent a month in federal prison during the summer of 2006 and was on house arrest for five months after that. Apparently, the Sox are confident those days are well behind him.
And he was a record-setter
Before the Bondses (Barry and Bobby) and the Griffeys (Ken Jr. and Ken Sr.) surpassed them, the Roses combined for the most hits from a father-and-son tandem in MLB history with 4,258.
Pete Sr. had 4,256 of them. And Pete Jr. had two.
Do you agree with Dave? Post your comments below.
If nothing else, Dave Wischnowsky is an Illinois boy. Raised in Bourbonnais, educated at the University of Illinois and bred on sports in the Land of Lincoln, he now resides on Chicago’s North Side, just blocks from Wrigley Field. Formerly a reporter and blogger for the Chicago Tribune, Dave currently writes a syndicated column, The Wisch List, which you can check out via his blog at http://www.wischlist.com.