It has always been thought provoking for me when considering the only two men in baseball history to exceed 4,191 hits…Ty Cobb and Pete Rose….cuz we’re talking over 115 years of MLB….and only two players have ever reached that pinnacle….and these two guys had 420 or more hits than the guy who is 3rd on the list….Hammerin’ Hank Aaron….who was 2nd all time in home runs record holder with 755…..while also being 3rd on the all-time hits record at 3771. Man, when you stop to think about all of that…..then you get an inkling of what greatest is all about.
What has amazed me when considering all that I have read about these two hit masters of major league baseball….is how similar the styles of play that these two baseball legends had…as both were aggressive at the plate, on the bases and in the field….hard-nosed players on every play…..highly competitive and hated losing…..controversial in the press and at the ballpark…..not particularly liked and certainly not loved by their opposition, their teammates and the fans….and win at all costs types even if that meant running over the catcher or infielder ….yet no one, to my knowledge, has ever made this comparison when talking baseball about the two most productive hitters of all time. Ty Cobb and Pete Rose both played MLB for 21 years or more (Cobb 21, Rose 23)….both had career batting averages above .300 (Rose .307, Cobb .367)….both we MVP’s (once each) and multiple battling champions (Rose 3, Cobb 12)…..both still hold MLB records….with Cobb still holding the highest career batting average at .366 or .367, depending on source) and most career batting titles with 11 or 12, depending on source…..while Rose still holds the all-time MLB leader in hits (4,256), games played (3,562), at-bats (14,053), singles (3,215) and outs made (10,328)….and it is our opinion here at ImaSportsphile that no one in the game today has a “snowballs chance in hell” of breaking either of these.
This taped interview between legendary CBS sportscaster Brent Musburger and legendary MLB player Pete Rose is classic in all regards….as it provides insight into the mind and mental toughness of the all time hits leader in the game….and by any standard is history in the making.