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HIGHLIGHT
Peter Carry
October 06, 1969
Sitting down, as everybody now knows, is not part of Pete Rose's Style. It was, therefore, hardly a surprise when the Reds' sprinting outfielder hinted a week ago, with just the faintest air of derision, that he would not allow the Mets' Cleon Jones to win the National League batting championship while riding on the bench. At the start of the week Jones, who had led the league's hitters most of the season, held an eight-point edge over Rose but, beset by injuries, he had sat out 18 of New York's games during September. The Cincinnati switch hitter suspected that when Jones returned to the lineup he would have trouble "finding his strike." That was all the incentive Rose, the majors' best batter in 1968 at .335, needed. In eight games last week he collected 18 hits in 39 at bats to raise his average to .347. And his guess about Jones was correct. The New York outfielder had just two hits in his first 14 appearances at the plate, dropping his percentage to .340. The surge not only made Rose an almost certain back-to-back batting champion, but it established him as one of the best hitters in the history of baseball. With at least 215 hits this year the Cincinnati native passed the 200-hit mark for the fourth time in his seven-season career. Rose considers the ability to reach 200 the true test of a player's skill at the plate, and the facts—only 11 players, all but one in the Hall of Fame, have had more 200-hit seasons than Rose—bear him out. Still only 27 years old, Cincinnati's Charlie Hustle has a good chance to equal or surpass them. Among other things, sitting down does not seem to bother him. Rose missed three weeks of play a year ago with a broken thumb and still had 210 hits.
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October 06, 1969

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Sitting down, as everybody now knows, is not part of Pete Rose's Style. It was, therefore, hardly a surprise when the Reds' sprinting outfielder hinted a week ago, with just the faintest air of derision, that he would not allow the Mets' Cleon Jones to win the National League batting championship while riding on the bench. At the start of the week Jones, who had led the league's hitters most of the season, held an eight-point edge over Rose but, beset by injuries, he had sat out 18 of New York's games during September. The Cincinnati switch hitter suspected that when Jones returned to the lineup he would have trouble "finding his strike." That was all the incentive Rose, the majors' best batter in 1968 at .335, needed. In eight games last week he collected 18 hits in 39 at bats to raise his average to .347. And his guess about Jones was correct. The New York outfielder had just two hits in his first 14 appearances at the plate, dropping his percentage to .340. The surge not only made Rose an almost certain back-to-back batting champion, but it established him as one of the best hitters in the history of baseball. With at least 215 hits this year the Cincinnati native passed the 200-hit mark for the fourth time in his seven-season career. Rose considers the ability to reach 200 the true test of a player's skill at the plate, and the facts—only 11 players, all but one in the Hall of Fame, have had more 200-hit seasons than Rose—bear him out. Still only 27 years old, Cincinnati's Charlie Hustle has a good chance to equal or surpass them. Among other things, sitting down does not seem to bother him. Rose missed three weeks of play a year ago with a broken thumb and still had 210 hits.

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