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Thursday, December 29, 2022

Pete Rose Jr. saw 11 ML games, Dad's career impacted his

Pete Rose Jr. 1990 Frederick Keys card

Approaching draft day 1988, Pete Rose Jr. gave just about the same thoughts as any prospective draftee, according to Gannett News Service.

"I've been dreaming about this day since I've been playing ball," Rose told Gannett then. "I can't believe it's finally here."

Rose, of course, wasn't just any draftee. He was the son and namesake of baseball's hit king.

For Rose Jr., though, that connection proved both a blessing and a curse as he went on to play two decades in pro ball himself. He got the attention - and expectations - that came with the name. But, as his father got mired in scandal, he got the attention related to that, too.

Along the way, though, Rose Jr. did make the major leagues himself, with the Reds for 11 games in 1997.

Rose Jr.'s career began that year in 1988, taken by the Orioles in the 12th round of the draft out of Cincinnati's Oak Hills High School. Rose was also credited as Pete Rose II.

Rose started with the Orioles in 1989, at single-A Frederick and short-season Erie. He hit .254 between them in 82 games. He then moved to Frederick at high-A for 1990. He hit .232 there in 97 games. 

That summer in 1990 also saw Rose Jr.'s father's betting scandal consume the game. Rose teammate at Frederick Steve Mondile told Scripps Howard News Service he hoped Rose could simply be left to play.

"I hope so, for Pete's sake," Mondile told Scripps Howard. "Now that everything is said and done, maybe everybody will start asking him about his playing ability instead of his father."

Rose moved to the White Sox and high-A Sarasota for 1991, then to the Indians at single-A Columbus and high-A Kinston for 1992 and 1993.

He first made AA briefly in 1995 with the White Sox at Birmingham, then returned there full time in 1996.

For 1997, he signed with his father's old team, the Reds. He played the year largely at AA Chattanooga. He hit .308, with 25 home runs. That September, he got called up to Cincinnati.

"It was everything and more," Rose Jr. told The AP after singling in his long-awaited debut. "Those nine years of bus rides, bad food, bad hotels, bad fans - it was all worth it." 

He recalled his call-up years later to Cincinnati station WCPO.

"As a player, it means everything," Rose told WCPO. "That's what your goal is. It meant more to me because I grew up here. I remember getting the call. I went to the ballpark the same way me and my dad did. I came in the same way, walked out the same way, watched the game the same way."

Rose saw 11 total games with the Reds that September. He picked up two hits in 14 at bats. It marked his only time in the majors.

Rose returned to the minors and he continued playing. He played at AAA, AA, and in independent ball. In 2005, he also got into trouble for distributing a steroid alternative to teammates in 2002. 

Rose played his final games in 2009 at independent Newark and York. He then went on to be a coach and manager in both the minors and in independent ball. He managed at single-A Kannapolis in 2014 and most recently is credited as managing at independent Wichita in 2017.

Pete Rose Jr. 1990 Frederick Keys card

1990 Minor League Tally 
Players/Coaches Featured:4,100
Made the Majors:1,358-33.1%-X
Never Made Majors:2,742-66.9%
5+ Seasons in the Majors:553
10+ Seasons in the Minors:336-X

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