Exclusive Interview: Pete Rose Talks ‘Pete Rose: Hits & Mrs.,’ Baseball, and Hall of Fame



Pete Rose, aka Charlie Hustle, is arguably the greatest baseball player in history. One person is standing in his way of getting into the Hall of Fame - Commissioner Bud Selig. The league's all-time hits leader has been campaigning to get reinstated into baseball. During this time, Rose has ventured into television. He recently stopped by to talk about his most recent project.


Most people know you from your life and events surrounding baseball. You've now ventured into television with your own reality show called "Pete Rose: Hits & Mrs." on TLC. How was that experience?

It was fun. We're actually doing "Pete Rose: Hits & Mrs." on "Destination America" on the Discovery Channel on Sunday, February 17th.

Aside from baseball, your show revolves around your personal life with your fiancée, Kiana Kim, and her children. How have the kids embraced this project? Was this something they wanted to do?


Oh yeah. The daughter loves it. She's beautiful; she's a teenager now. The boy, he could care less.

In Episode 2 you take the kids to Cooperstown to sign autographs like you do every year. Does being around the Hall of Fame ever get to you knowing that you're not there?


No, I have a good buddy that owns a store near there so I sign autographs for the fans that come out to see me. I took my fiancée Kiana's kids to the museum. They don't know a lot about baseball so it was like a history lesson. I told them why I wasn't in the Hall of Fame and about who I am and what I did. And they understand why I'm not in there.


I read an interview with you where you said, about doing the show, that you want "people to see a different side of you." What did you mean by that?


What I meant was that I'm not knocking catchers over, yelling at pitchers or sliding head first into third base. After the game, when I took off my spikes I was a nice guy. If I had a bad game I didn't go out and beat anyone up. If you get to know me I'm actually a fun guy.

Do you feel as if this constant promotion and publicity are actually hurting your reinstatement chances?


No, we didn't do the show to talk about my reinstatement into baseball. This is something that was fun and honestly, I don't think Bud Selig is sitting around watching reality television.

You're still waiting to see if MLB will lift the ban to get you into the Hall of Fame. Deep down, do you think it will happen?

I live in America and the last I knew people got second chances. I spread the word of baseball in a positive way but I screwed up. It was my actions that got me banned. Look at someone like Ron Santo; he finally got in 38 years after retirement and one year after he died. If I ever get in, I hope that my heart is still beating. There's no point in getting in when you're gone. I think baseball will benefit if there are more living Hall of Famers around.

BYLINE:

Jason Tanamor is the Editor of Zoiks! Online. He also is the author of the novels, The Extraordinary Life of Shady Gray, Hello Lesbian!, Hello Fabulous!, and Anonymous. Visit him at www.tanamor.com. Email him at jason@zoiksonline.com
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