Though Pete Rose spent some of his career in Philadelphia, the all-time baseball hits leader does not have ties to our area.
But that won’t stop Rose from bringing his show, “4192 An Evening with Pete Rose Live” to the Kirby Center in Wilkes-Barre this Saturday at 7 p.m.
The show is a Broadway style theatrical event that captures the golden years of America’s pastime. Baseball’s hit king shares stories of baseball’s past as only he can. The production uses hi-tech multimedia that creates a game-day atmosphere.
The stage will be transformed into a field of memories. The show is set in a baseball atmosphere complete with all the trappings of a World Series game-including the First Pitch, Star-Spangled Banner, and of course introductions.
“The show is all about baseball- if you don’t like baseball, or don’t want to laugh then don’t come. We have a lot of fun, laugh a bunch, and just spend a couple of hours talking about baseball. In my 29 seasons in the big leagues, I’ve had some good stories. I played against Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, Mike Schmidt, Willie Mays- it is entertaining the way we make stories from the situations,” said Rose, who still holds 29 major league baseball records.
He continued, “We also do a meet-and-greet for the fans, which includes an autographed picture, and it usually sells out.”
Storytelling, enhanced with visuals, will make the audience laugh as well as be inspired by Charlie Hustle. There is also encouraged crowd participation.
“All I am is a baseball fan- who happens to know a lot about baseball. No one knows more about baseball than me, the only man who ever did passed away a few years ago. Don Zimmer. We grew up in the same town, played on the same little league fields, American Legion fields, and high school fields and were taught the same game. He just learned it five or six years earlier than me,” Rose laughed.
With a natural flair for storytelling, Rose can launch into casual conversation with fans about a multitude of baseball topics.
About the best player in today’s game, Rose stated, “It is too hard to select one, but if I had to, Mike Trout. But Altuve is good, too. There are a lot of good players out there, Matt Carpenter is good, Mookie Betts is having an MVP type year as well.”
But when asked about choosing who he would want in his dugout, Rose answered honestly, “To sell tickets? Aaron Judge. To win games? Betts or Altuve. Maybe (Max) Scherzer, he’s my pick for the Cy Young. Or JD Martinez.”
As for MLB’s records, Rose feels that the records that are the result of longevity will stand the test of time.“Cy Young had 311 victoires, no one came come close to that. My hit record, Cal’s game record. The one that will be broke is homeruns. It is too easy to hit home runs today, the ballparks are smaller, umpires don’t call strikes, everyone is a potential home run hitter. There are more homeruns now than ever before, but that is what they are getting paid for.”
Rose’s career has spanned almost three decades, and he continues to be involved in baseball, recently hosting Fox’s MLB and signing autographs in Las Vegas 20 days a month.
He also travels to Cooperstown during the Hall of Fame induction week.
“I go to Cooperstown to sign autographs, but so do 50-60 other people. Why do I go to Cooperstown? Because they are baseball people. I’m still a ballplayer with records. I sign more autographs than anyone there, and people enjoy it. Most of the Hall of Famers are involved in other things, and can’t get out to the fans until Monday or so. We are up there Thursday and through the weekend,” offered the 17-time National League All-Star.
Rose explained, “When parents come to my signings in Vegas with their kids and ask for advice, I always say there are three things you have to know. One-be aggressive. Two-be more aggressive. And three- never be satisfied. If you get three hits, want four. Win three games? Great, now go win four. Score 10 runs? Can you score 12? Never be satisfied in sports. I never was, that’s how you need to live your life as well. In School too, who is happier? The guy with two D’s and an F? No, it’s the kid with A’s and B’s. Keep it simple. You can be short on talent, but always be aggressive. You need to outwork, and out-practice, your opponents. Always.”
From the man who offered advice such as “Never admit to a slump” and “Never change your swing, just your position in the box”, Rose suggested, “Ask your son why he plays baseball. He will probably stumble around a little bit, and end up saying because it is fun. Well, what happens when he loses? Does he still play? Of course. But if you aren’t playing to win, don’t bother playing. There are million dollar scoreboards out there, they keep track of the score. To see who wins or loses. When you win, everyone is in a better mood on the way home.”
Tunkhannock Area High School baseball has a Charlie Hustle award they present to a player at the end of the varsity season.
Rose said that while it makes him feel good that he still has an impact on today’s youth players, and appreciates the kind words, he feels that he played the game the right way.
He said, “As far as I am concerned, I played the game the way it was supposed to be played. I appreciate the pat on the back, but why single out the guys who are doing things right? Everyone should earn a Charlie Hustle award. We bust our asses for two and a half hours for the fans. The game is for the fans, the fans spend the money to watch us play. The one group of people you can’t cheat are the fans. What is the sense of playing if no one is there to watch. Why do some teams sell out their stadiums, while others don’t? They play the game the right way. Why wouldn’t you sprint to first on a base on balls? Without the fans, it all means nothing.”
Pete Rose is an American icon. In this show, he tells it all. He takes you inside the game of baseball as no other person can. ‘4192-An Evening
with Pete Rose Live’ is a Home Run.