As the regular Baseball season winds down along with the Magic Number for my Playoff-destined New York Mets, I can't help but think of one player more than any other down the stretch. No, it's not Seaver, Strawberry, Gooden, or Piazza, all of whom are true champs, but this one fella is larger than life: Pete Rose.
Why Pete Rose?
Pete Rose was and still is the epitome of drive, determination, and fire. Pete could eat a bowl of nails and still play that same day. He gave his heart and walked off the field at the end a success, whether the Reds/Phillies/Expo's...whoever...won or lost the game.
Growing up in the 70's and 80's, and collecting baseball cards during that time, the buzz was always about the coveted 1963 Topps Pete RoseRookie Card. Not Mickey Mantle, who enjoyed the media hype of New York, or else he would have wound up with the same unimpressive fame as Jim Thome's 600+ HomeRun Career, had Mantle wound up in a media quiet zone vs.…