WASHINGTON: Pete Rose, Major League Baseball’s all-time hits leader who was banned from the sport for betting on games, had his jersey number 14 retired by the Cincinnati Reds.
The 75-year-old former player and manager for the National League club appeared in a pre-game ceremony at Great American Ballpark, a rare exception allowing him involvement in weekend activities honoring him and his teammates on the 1976 World Series championship squad.
Rose’s son, Pete Jnr, threw him a ceremonial first pitch. Rose was given a painting and a crystal sculpture as his 14 jersey was officially taken out of rotation. Rose Jnr was the only one to wear it since his father left the game.
“It is our salute to that person whose impact transcends their lifetime and spares any future player the impossible task of living up to a legacy too large to fill,” said Reds chief executive Bob Castellini.
Rose had 4,256 career hits in 14,053 times at bat over 3,562 major league games — all major league records, as was his total of 3,215 singles.
In 1989, Rose agreed to permanent baseball ineligibility for betting on games while he managed the Reds. He later admitted to betting on games and on, but never against, the Reds.
But his ban means he is not eligible for consideration into the Baseball Hall of Fame, although he was inducted into the Reds Hall of Fame over the weekend.