In the bottom of the eighth of the Pirates-Reds game on April 13, 1963, Cincy rookie Pete Rose, the day before his 22nd birthday, did this:
As it turns out, that triple off Pittsburgh's Bob Friend was the first of 4,256 hits that Rose would accrue in the majors. That, of course, is a record. That methodical, rambling march toward the record began 50 years ago Saturday.
This calls to mind the sheer sprawl of Rose's 24-year playing career. During Rose's rookie campaign of 1963, Stan Musial was in his final season. In Rose's last major-league game in 1986 (a pinch-hitting appearance), 22-year-old Barry Larkin was the Reds' starting shortstop. Talk about bridging a generation or three. Or four.
Doubtless, it takes a certain kind of man to survive that long in the bigs and tally 4,256 safeties, just as it takes a certain type of man -- an Aqua Velva Man -- to break into song with Vic Tayback ...
Happy 50th birthday, Pete Rose's first hit.
(Wink of CBS Eye: Philly.com/AP)