Signature Rose slide now permanently remembered with statue
CINCINNATI (WKRC) - Aside from the Major League record 4,256 hits and running to first base after a walk, if there was one thing that signified why Pete Rose was called "Charlie Hustle," it was his headfirst slide. Now that image is officially memorialized in the form of a bronze statue outside Great American Ball Park.
The statue was unveiled on Saturday afternoon on the Crosley Terrace outside the main gates with Rose and numerous other members of the "Big Red Machine" on hand for the ceremony, including Baseball Hall of Famers Johnny Bench, Joe Morgan and Tony Perez.
The Rose statue is the eighth at Great American Ball Park - all sculpted by local artist Tom Tsuchiya. The Rose statue joins those commemorating Joe Nuxhall, Frank Robinson, Ernie Lombardi, Ted Kluszewski, Bench, Morgan and Perez. Tsuchiya worked with the Cincinnati Reds, the Reds Hall of Fame and Rose to create the sculpture.
- Click here for a photo gallery of Tsuchiya's early work on the statue
- Click here for a photo gallery of Tsuchiya making progress on the statue
- Click here for a photo gallery of the science behind what it took to make Rose "fly"
- Click here for a story from Local 12's Joe Webb on the making of the statue
The first 30,000 fans in attendance for Saturday's Reds-Dodgers game received a replica of the new statue.
The statue ceremony may be the end to honoring Rose's career after it was reported on Thursday that the Baseball Hall of Fame Board of Directors in late December upheld a ban preventing Rose from appearing on the Hall of Fame ballot due to his being on MLB's permanently ineligible list.
That means the 76-year-old Rose has basically run out of options for earning a spot in the Baseball Hall of Fame.