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Morning Briefing

Rose Had Some Help Long Ago

September 12, 1985

Before the game, Pete Rose was asked if it would help if someone tipped him off as to what pitches were coming, and he said, "That might mess me up."

He told Thomas Boswell of the Washington Post: "Back in 1963, I had gone about 25 for 35 against the Phils. I stepped up one day, turned to catcher Mike Ryan and said, 'Mike, how ya doin?'

"All Ryan said was, 'Gene says to tell you what's coming.' "

Phillie Manager Gene Mauch thought Rose might be distracted by worrying about whether the catcher's information was true. For three at-bats, it worked, as Rose made out. Finally, in the ninth inning with the game on the line, catcher Ryan said, "Curveball."

Rose: "I've never been a guess hitter. Always look for a fastball, then react. But that time, I said, 'I'm looking for this fastball.' I hit it off the top of the scoreboard to beat 'em, 2-1.

"Well, the next day, I lead off the game. Ryan's catching and I tap the plate, look back and say, 'Mike, how ya doin?' Ryan just looked up at me and said, 'Mauch told me to tell you to go to hell.' "

Trivia Time: The National League record for most games, switch-hit home runs, lifetime, is two, shared by four players. Name them. (Answer below.)

Glenn Sample, assistant athletic director at the University of Cincinnati, told the New York Times: "I knew Pete Rose when he was a better football prospect than a baseball prospect. I was on the football staff at Cincinnati when he was in high school, and we were interested in Pete as a halfback. His father had been a great Sunday halfback in semipro football in Cincinnati."

Note: Rose has said that if he'd gone to college, he would have gone to the University of Tennessee.

Add Rose: Although he went 0 for 4 Tuesday night, the night wasn't a complete loss. He has an attendance clause in his contract, and the crowd of 51,045 pushed the season attendance over the magic figure of 1,500,000.

Looking forward to another big crowd, Rose said: "It's really going to kick in tomorrow (Wednesday) night."

How-jaded-can-you-get dept.: Said Houston Oilers running back Mike Rozier, of his winning touchdown in the 26-23 victory over the Miami Dolphins: "I'm very happy about winning, but I'm not too excited about scoring a touchdown. I've been in the end zone all my life."

The Anacin Approach: Willie Pless of the University of Kansas, on how he operates at linebacker: "Sometimes I get the headache, sometimes the other guy gets the headache. You never know which way it's going to go."

After the disaster against Dallas, how will the home crowd accept Joe Theismann when the Washington Redskins face the Houston Oilers Sunday?

"It always makes it interesting when I set foot in RFK Stadium," Theismann told Christine Brennan of the Washington Post "They've tried to boo me out of this place for 12 years. I can tell you something. I'm still going to be there. I'll come regardless. You can bring your megaphones and bring your boos and bring your cheers. I'm still going to show up."

Trivia Answer: Rip Russell (Boston Braves and Brooklyn Dodgers), Ellis Burton (Chicago Cubs), Pete Rose (Cincinnati Reds) and Reggie Smith (St. Louis Cardinals).

Note: The American League record is 10, held by Mickey Mantle.


Hall of Fame pitcher Warren Spahn, who pitched for Casey Stengel on the 1942 Boston Braves and the 1965 New York Mets: "I'm probably the only guy who worked for Stengel before and after he became a genius."

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