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Rose Believes His Competitive Spirit Would Show in an Old-Timers Game

February 14, 1988|Associated Press

Cincinnati Reds Manager Pete Rose doesn't feel old enough to play in the annual Old-Timers All-Star Game, but also says he's too old to play in the major leagues.

The old-timers' game is to be played July 10 in conjunction with the major league All-Star Game at Riverfront Stadium two days later.

Rose, who turns 47 on April 14, said during the winter that he won't play again in the majors.

Rose says he's too competitive to play in an old-timers' game.

"The old-timers' games are for the old-timers," Rose said. "I never know how I would approach an old-timers' game, whether I'd just go out there and have fun. I have to think that no matter how I play the game, my competitive spirit would show.

"It would almost have to, because the guys in that game got all the pride in the world. They want to do well. It's just a matter where they get to an age where they just can't move like they used to, and I'm not at that age yet."

Rose hasn't played since August 1986. But he figures he's still capable of hitting line drives, and that's one of the reasons he won't play in an old-timers' game.

"I sort of worry about doing that," Rose said. "I'm still in real good shape. I just have a tendency, when I play baseball, to hit the ball back up the middle. A lot of the pitchers, they don't see well and they don't move well.

"I'd hate like hell to hit somebody in the forehead with a line drive. I don't know if they can protect themselves. If (Bob) Gibson was pitching, it would be no problem. But he'd be on my team, being a National Leaguer."

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