Retrospace Salutes Charlie Hustle
Without hesitation, I would have to say Pete Rose was my my ultimate hero in the 1970s. I lived in Dayton, Ohio when The Big Red Machine was in full effect, so Rose-mania was everywhere. I followed every televised game just to see Rose muscle his way to the bag swallowing mouthfuls of dirt, knocking people over, and just making a spectacle of every single play. I loved to see him after the game, sweaty and covered in dirt and blood, acting sour and blasting the other team. Needless to say, he wasn't exactly a low-key player... but like another loudmouth, Muhammad Ali, he could back it up.
Rose is the all-time Major League leader in hits (4,256), games played (3,562), at-bats (14,053), and outs (10,328). He won three World Series rings, three batting titles, one Most Valuable Player Award, two Gold Gloves, the Rookie of the Year Award, and made 17 All-Star appearances at an unequaled five different positions (2B, LF, RF, 3B & 1B).... and yet he's not in the Hall of Fame. That is a crock of shit.
Well, Hall or Famer or not, in the 1970s Pete Rose was the man, and for that, he deserves a shout out on Retrospace as an icon of the decade.