More about Pete Rose


Pete Rose, the legendary baseball player, could have been inducted into the Hall of Fame, but instead he just got this lousy portrait.

Personally I think getting your portrait done by Andy Warhol is much cooler than getting into the baseball Hall of Fame, but that’s just me. Pete Rose would definitely say otherwise. In terms of athletic prowess, he deserved it. It’s just those pesky morals that got in the way. During his 24-year career, Rose got 4,256 hits, more than any other player in the history of baseball. Unfortunately, he was also accused of betting on his own team in 1989 and was permanently suspended from baseball. Personally, I didn’t know it was possible to be suspended from an entire sport, but Rose was just that sleazy. At first he denied it, as they all do, but eventually (after a 225-page stack of evidence came out) he admitted it. And because the rules of baseball states clearly, “any player, umpire, or club or league official or employee, who shall bet any sum whatsoever upon any baseball game in connection with which the bettor has a duty to perform shall be declared permanently ineligible." Betting on your own team doesn’t seem that bad at first but if you think about it, “as manager he could control games, make decisions that could enhance his chances of winning his bets, thus jeopardizing the integrity of the game.” At the time, Rose was the manager of the Cincinnati Reds, and as such was ejected from the sport and banned from being able to enter the Hall of Fame even though he was probably one of the best players to ever live. He tried a couple times to appeal to the commissioner of Major League Baseball but to no avail and as Tom Hanks made perfectly clear, “there’s no crying in baseball.” He does have a statue outside the Cincinnati Reds stadium, though, which soothes the burn of his banishment.

When Andy Warhol was commissioned to do a piece on Pete Rose, he knew nothing about him. He was about as interested in baseball as Rose was in art. The two never met, and yet this piece exists. Why? Because the museum paid Warhol $100,000 “to do a Pete Rose painting during that thrilling summer of 1985 when Rose chased and surpassed Ty Cobb’s 4,191 hit record.” Warhol put Rose in a hitting stance imitating a baseball card, as that was probably as close to a baseball game as Warhol had ever gotten.