Pete Rose’s path to the Baseball Hall of Fame may be blocked, but he’ll always have a secure spot in his hometown of Cincinnati.
The Cincinnati Reds made sure of that on Saturday, unveiling a new bronze statue that will effectively cement Rose’s legacy as an all-time great in baseball, a cornerstone of the franchise’s heyday during the 1970s and a celebrated member of the community.
Rose became the fourth member of the franchise’s famed “Big Red Machine” to be honored with a statue, joining baseball Hall of Famers Johnny Bench, Joe Morgan, and Tony Perez. They’ll welcome fans at each of the four main gates outside Great American Ballpark.
The statue has an undeniable touch of “Charlie Hustle,” which is the nickname Rose earned for his aggressive style of play. The statue perfectly depicts Rose’s patented head-first slide that was and is every bit as famous as his sweet swing.
— Derek Forrest (@DerekWLWT) June 17, 2017
Artist Tom Tsuchiya, who was charged with creating the statue, said featuring Rose’s slide was an easy decision because “it’s emblematic of his energy.”
Tsuchiya’s attention to detail is remarkable, right on down to the visual of Rose’s powerful slide moving the dirt.
— Mark Sheldon (@m_sheldon) June 17, 2017
The Reds started the day with a viewing party outside Great American Ball Park. The official ceremony was held before the Reds hosted the Los Angeles Dodgers, and was attended by several of his former teammates.
The fans came out in droves too, filling the area with hopes of catching a glimpse of Rose and his statue together.
If that wasn’t enough motivation to attend Saturday’s festivities, the Reds also gave away 30,000 miniature replicas of the statue.
It’s smaller, but no less detailed. It makes a perfect keepsake for longtime Reds fans.
— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) June 17, 2017
The debate about Pete Rose’s place in baseball history will never cease. But there is no debate about his place in Cincinnati or Reds history. Sure there were rocky times along the way, but he’s been accepted back into the community and the franchise with open arms, and will remain there forever.
More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports:
– – – – – – –