Michael Sokolove wrote a book “Hustle” about the life of Pete Rose. It obviously dealt with the character flaws that drove Rose from the game he loved. But is also gave great insight into why the non-athlete was able to compete at a high lever over a long period of time. Here are some of those thoughts.
What Shamsky remembers about Pete Rose from 1960 is not so much how he performed in games, but how he practiced. Even then, Rose has something that many major leagues, even good ones, never achieve: a realistic view of his strengths and limitations. If he hit a home run in the previous night’s game, he did not imagine himself a power hitter. The next day in batting practice, Rose would watch and cheer his teammates on as they swung from the heels, trying to reach the fences. Ball players, even on the major-league level, never grow tired of playing home-run derby. Then Rose would step in the cage and calmly, repetitively, stroke ball after ball up the middle. When he was through with that he would work on his opposite-field stroke.
If he was slumping at the place, he didn’t attribute it to the vagaries of the long season, as many players do, or invoke the baseball clich