September 11, 2010

September 11, 1985...Where Are They Now?

I would have liked to have put together something like this on my own, but since the fine folks at the Cincinnati Enquirer already did it...here goes!


It's been 25 years since Pete Rose hit 4192 - and we know what happened to Pete's career in the years to follow. Here's an update on some of the other players involved that night.

Eric Show: The Padres right-hander never wanted to be part of Rose's historic moment. After surrendering the hit, he walked to first base to congratulate Rose but as the ovation went on, he seemed to sour on it and memorably took a seat on the mound. Show, a complex character who advocated causes associated with liberals and conservatives, died of a drug overdose in 1994.

Steve Garvey: The Padres first baseman greeted Rose warmly when he reached first base. Long time rivals - Garvey's Dodgers teams perennially battled the Reds for first in the old National League West - Garvey memorably said then, "Pete Rose should bypass the Hall (of Fame) and go directly to the Smithsonian." Garvey now runs a TV production company and gives motivational speeches.

Tommy Helms: Manager Rose's first-base coach was a teammate on his early Reds teams. On September 11, 1985, Rose and Helms slapped low fives in the old 1970s style after Rose rounded first and retreated in triumph to the bag. Helms would replace Rose as interim manager when Rose accepted his lifetime ban in 1989. He still lives in the area and is a frequent participant in Marty Brennaman's charity golf tournament.

Carmelo Martinez: The Padres left fielder snared hit Number 4192 on and threw it back to the infield. The outfielder/first baseman resurfaced with Lou Piniella's injury-ravaged 1991 Reds team for the latter half of the season. More recently, as interim manager of the single-A Peoria Chiefs, his shove of Dayton Dragons manager Donnie Scott helped escalate an ugly 2008 incident that resulted in Chiefs pitcher Julio Castillo firing a baseball at an opponent and hitting a fan.

Pete Rose Jr.: Rose memorably hugged and cried on the shoulder of his son, just 15, moments after 4192. Rose Jr. spent 21 seasons in minor league ball, some independent leagues, even the Mexican League. In 1997, he was a September call-up by the Reds, batting .143 in 11 games. He served as hitting coach for the Florence Freedom last season and recently accepted a job in the White Sox organization.

The ball and bat: Steve Wolter, owner of Sports Investments in Montgomery but originally Rose's insurance agent, bought both the baseball and the black Mizuno bat from Rose in 1986. They're still on display in the store in the case Rose had built for them. Value? "It's hard to say, it's so subjective," Wolter says. But the bat Rose used for his final hit, Number 4256, sold for $160,000 three months ago, Wolter said.

The Corvette: Reds majority owner Marge Schott presented Rose with a red 1985 Corvette that night. It sits in the middle of Wolter's shop. "It's not really worth any more than any other mint '85 Corvette," Wolter says. "But it serves its purpose."


So where were you? What are your memories of 4192?


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