Pete Rose: An American Dilemma

Sports Illustrated. Mar. 2014. 352p. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781618930965. $26.95. SPORTS
How do you solve a problem like Pete Rose? Baseball's still-reigning hit king, "Charlie Hustle," never ceases to be a divisive figure. Kennedy (56: Joe DiMaggio and the Last Magic Number in Sports) takes a fresh look at him. While the book contains a fair amount of biographical material, it's more of a consideration of Rose's place in baseball history 25 years after his ban from Major League Baseball (MLB) and from Hall of Fame consideration because he bet on baseball games. The narrative shifts between Rose's past—with anecdotes from family, friends, and former teammates—to his present life working the autograph circuit and filming a reality show with his young fiancée. The big question that has dogged him in the last quarter century—whether or not he has a right to a plaque in Cooperstown—hangs over the story and is newly scrutinized in light of recent steroid scandals.
VERDICT While Rose may be handled a little too lightly here in some readers' opinions, this will find an audience among baseball fans.
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