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When Hit by Ellis, Rose Didn't Get Mad, He Got Even His Own Way

June 30, 1985|JERRY CROWE

On May 1, 1974, former Pittsburgh pitcher Dock Ellis opened a game against the Cincinnati Reds by intentionally hitting Pete Rose, Joe Morgan and Dan Driessen.

In his 1976 book, "Dock Ellis in the Country of Baseball," Ellis said he thought about not hitting Rose because he considered him a friend and because he was afraid Rose would "take it too well."

Wrote author Donald Hall: "He predicted that Rose, once hit, would make no acknowledgment of pain--no grimace, no rubbing the afflicted shoulder--but would run at top speed for first base, indicating clearly to his teammates that there was nothing to fear."

Having weighed the matter, Ellis decided to hit him anyway. But Rose's reaction still surprised him.

Rose picked the ball up and gently tossed it, underhand, back to Ellis. Then he lit for first base.

Said Ellis, in admiration: "You have to be good , to be a hotdog."

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