Pete Rose appeared to take a practical view of his current Hall of Fame status – or maybe we should say, “Statuses” – and Ichiro Suzuki’s recent career hits milestone in a TV appearance this week.
When Jason Whitlock of Fox Sports 1 suggested being held out of the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown has made him more famous than he might be if he had already been inducted, Rose responded, “You’re a smart guy.”
The former Red went on to point out he was proud to have been inducted into the Reds Hall of Fame in June.
“That’s my hometown. I’ve wanted to make the hall of fame in Cincinnati since I was knee high to a grasshopper,” Rose said. “Next year I’m getting a statue. So things are happening to me in the area I want them to happen, and that’s Cincinnati, Ohio.”
He hasn’t given up on making it to Cooperstown but noted age is starting to catch up to him.
“You know, I’m 75,” Rose said. “I’m running out of time. I don’t want to make it once I’m being viewed, you know?”
Also addressed was the mini-controversy that broke out when some in the media recognized Ichiro Suzuki for breaking Rose’s record of 4,256 “professional” hits – including more than 1,000 hits Suzuki had in Japan before making his MLB debut with the Mariners.
If being paid to play was the standard for counting stats, Rose pointed out he would have 4,683 hits when counting his hits in the minor leagues.
“However, Ichiro is a hall of fame player,” Rose said. “I’ve got a lot of respect for Ichiro.”