On this day in 1989, Pete Rose was banned from baseball- forever- for gambling. One of the truly all-time greats of the game, his banning still raises controversy. I saw him play in the early 80s with the Phillies and he was electrifying. He helped lead the team to its first ever World Series championship. Barnes and Noble Review quoted from a new biography of "Charlie Hustle" (Pete Rose: An American Dilemma by Kostya Kennedy):
What do we think of him now, in his 70s and deep into a strange, sometimes slapstick post-baseball journey that has led him to prison for tax fraud; to the pro wrestling ring; to the dog track; to divorce from his second wife; to a reality television series pinned in part to the surgical fate of his young girlfriend’s breasts; and to so many instances of hawking one thing or another, selling his signature, his story, himself? What do we think of him now, the Hit King who still adores and reveres baseball—its nuances, its history—as he adores and reveres nothing else?