Happy 50th anniversary, Pete Rose's first major-league hit

Look at that swing! (Getty Images)

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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)

CBS Sports Writer

Dayn Perry has been a baseball writer for CBS Sports since early 2012. Prior to that, he wrote for FOXSports.com and ESPN.com. He's the author of three books, the most recent being Reggie Jackson: The... Full Bio

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