The Phillies Nation Top 100: #54 Pete Rose – Phillies Nation

The Phillies Nation Top 100: #54 Pete Rose

The Phillies Nation Top 100 continues today with #54. Our mission is to assess the Top 100 Phillies players of all time using impact to the Phillies, individual achievement, team achievement, traditional stats, and analytics as our criteria. The list was compiled by Ian Riccaboni and Pat Gallen with input from the rest of the Phillies Nation staff. 

From this point forward, each weekday, we will reveal two Phillies from the PN Top 100 in separate posts. To view the 2008 iteration of the list of Greatest Phillies of All Time as compiled by Tim Malcolm, please click here.

Please check back later this afternoon for #53.

#54 – Pete Rose

Years: 1979-1983

.291/.365/.361, 8 HR, 51 SB in 3232 PA

Previous Rank: 54 (No Change)

fWAR Phillies Rank: 144th among position players, 272nd among Phillies

Signature Series: Hit .400/.520/.400 in the 1980 NLCS

Signature Moment: The Catch

Four-straight All-Star Appearances (1979-1982)

The straw that stirred the drink, Rose joined the Phillies for the 1979 season, signing a four year, $3.225 million deal. Rose was the veteran mercenary, turning 38 just a few games into the 1979 season, jumping to the Phillies as the missing piece, the first baseman to put the Phillies firmly from playoff disappointment over the Dodgers and into their first World Series since 1950.

It didn’t work. At least in 1979, that is.

It certainly wasn’t Rose’s fault: Rose, at 38, had one of the best seasons of his career, hitting .331/.418/.430, leading the league in OBP. The Phillies, however, struggled to find consistent starting pitching and Tug McGraw, Ron Reed, and Rawly Eastwick had some of their worst seasons of their careers out of the bullpen. The Phillies fired Danny Ozark with 30 games left in the season and finished 84-78, a fourth place finish after three straight years of winning the NL East.

The stars would align in 1980: Rose would lead the league in doubles, playing all 162 games, and despite having a low triple-slash line as a 39-year old (.282/.352/.354), Rose would make his second All-Star team in as many seasons with the Phillies, helping the Phillies win 91 games, just one more than the 90-win, second-place Expos had.

Charlie Hustle would hit .400/.520/.400 in the 1980 NLCS against the Houston Astros and would hit .326/.431/.349 in 51 PA in the 1980 postseason. And of course, there was the Phillies version of The Catch in Game 6 of the World Series:

Rose would return to the World Series with the Phillies in 1983 with his Big Red Machine teammates Tony Perez and Joe Morgan, hitting .344/.382/.375 in the 1983 postseason. Charlie Hustle ended his time with the Phillies with a final line of .291/.365/.361 with 8 HR in five seasons. While Rose made four consecutive All-Star teams, he compared poorly to his contemporary first baseman. Rose ranked just 33rd out 44 qualified first baseman in fWAR from 1979 through 1983, his batting average ranking 12th and OBP ninth, but his 8 HR ranking 42nd, slugging 41st, wOBA 33rd, wRC+ 34th, and his defense 44th.

But that, in a way, says why Rose definitively deserves to be on this list: as one of baseball’s elder statesman, Rose’s presence alone on a championship-caliber was perceived to be enough to put them over the top. And whether it was perception, reality, or if perception has become reality, Rose was one of the greatest Phillies of all time.



  1. Vinnie

    January 21, 2014 at 9:08 am

    I grew up in this era, and they had the talant to win it all, but couldn’t get over the top. Rose was the differance, he showed them how to win. His stats may not have been the best, but he was the differance that put them over the top.

    Without him… 1980 would not have happened.

  2. George

    January 21, 2014 at 10:21 am

    If Amaro had been around back then and had signed 37 year old (almost 40) Pete Rose for FOUR years, everybody would have complained about Rose’s age and that he’d been given too much money for too many years.

  3. Pamikedc

    January 21, 2014 at 10:34 am


    Breaking…Phils just signed someone to the minors. Again!

  4. Pamikedc

    January 21, 2014 at 10:34 am

    And oops…”breaking”

  5. Laura Hoogerwerff

    January 21, 2014 at 10:55 am

    Rose made all the difference on this ’80 team. His never say die attitude is not seen in stats. He left in all on the playing field. I truly don’t believe the Phils would have won if were not for Pete Rose.

  6. NBourbaki

    January 21, 2014 at 10:58 am

    HoF without Pete Rose, Barry Bonds, RogeSubmit Comr Clemons is a joke.

  7. Mudmin

    January 21, 2014 at 11:13 am

    Pete Rose’s ban is totally different than the other guys… No doubt he should be in… Although I’m guessing he was pretty amp’d up on amphetamines during his time. Mike Schmidt said there were bowls of them in the locker room.

    • schmenkman

      January 21, 2014 at 11:36 am

      Rose’s ban is different, and many would say for a much more egregious offense. In any case, I hope he is reinstated (and allowed into the Hall) while he’s still around to enjoy it.

    • NBourbaki

      January 21, 2014 at 11:45 am

      Rose out is Bud Selig’s hubris. Bonds and Clemons because a bunch of sportswriters like to act all self-righteous about ‘roids. Result is the all-time hits leader, all-time HR leader, and easily one of the top ten RHPs are out of the HoF.

      Don’t get me wrong. I hate the fact thet Bonds has more HRs, than Hank Aaron. Hate that Bonds, Sosa, McGwire each broke Roger Maris’ record. With ‘roids the standard should be if you would be a HoFer without them. Bonds, Clemons easily meet this standard (just as easily as Sosa, McGwire, etc. do not).

  8. schmenkman

    January 21, 2014 at 11:28 am

    Would that team have won a championship without Rose? Given the age of the team, and how difficult it is to go all the way, probably not. That’s not to say that Rose was the reason they won, only that to win a championship requires all the stars to align, as Ian says, and changing any one significant component likely would have meant they would have fallen short.

  9. Jaron B

    January 21, 2014 at 11:56 am

    That 5-YR/ $3.225MM deal would have been a 5-YR/ $100MM deal today.

  10. Michelle Lovejoy

    January 21, 2014 at 1:52 pm

    Pete certainly made the difference for the Reds and the Phils. Wish we could clone him and insert him into our lineup today. He would light everyone’s fire on our team. Regardless of his faults, he belongs in Cooperstown. If Ty Cobb made it in with all his shenanigans, so should Pete. Charlie Hustle’s numbers will stand the test of time.

  11. Lou

    January 21, 2014 at 11:35 pm

    Rose was a valuable assets to the Phillies, but in the same breath an absolute disgrace to the integrity of the best game on this planet. No different than the Bonds, ARods, etc., etc., etc. He should never see the walls of Cooperstown.

  12. Cathie Leahy

    January 22, 2014 at 9:29 am

    Pete didn’t bet on baseball while he was playing so don’t compare him with scrum like Bonds or Clemmons who hurt their own bodies with PEDs. Just wait and see how their bodies fall apart from it. Pete was the straw that stirred the Phillies without him I don’t think they would have won even Mike Schmidt says that.

    • Ken Bland

      January 22, 2014 at 2:06 pm

      “Pete didn’t bet on baseball while he was playing so don’t compare him with scrum like Bonds or Clemens who hurt their own bodies with PEDs..”

      Cathie stood in the gallows straight up, and the gunman, up close and personal, pointed his 38 Smith and Wesson so directly, you could feel its pre fired position pointing directly between her nostrils.

      “Here’s my question for you”, said the would be executioner.

      “A pull on the trigger depends on your answer.” Did Peter Edward Rose bet on baseball while in playing uniform,?”

      Life on the line, Cathie was quick to reply.

      “How the hell do I know”, she objectively stated. “It’s documented and finally self admitted that he bet on it post career, but there’s no public documentation that he bet on baseball while he played. Maybe it’s best to leave that part of his image in tact since it’s a fragment of what we have left to appreciate, and leave the origins of Pete’s baseball betting venture to wandering minds.”

      Peter Edward Rose….still, and maybe always The Man. But it is what it is and only subtracts from wonderful memories and opinions about him.

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