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Pete Rose Jr. Has Dad's Blessing as Strikebreaker

March 23, 1995|Associated Press

Pete Rose Jr. is willing to play regular-season games as a strikebreaker and has permission from his father, baseball's career hits leader.

"He's a kid who has been struggling in the minor leagues and all he wants to do is play baseball," Rose told the New York Times on Tuesday. "Now he's supposed to go home and not play because the major league players are on strike? How can I ask him to do that?"

Rose Jr., 25, a third baseman, has never played higher than Class A in six seasons.

"This isn't about being in A ball, and it isn't about the money," the younger Rose said. "I'm doing this to get where they're at. I want to be in their union. I'm doing this to get better, doing it for my career. If someone wants to resent me--if they want to call me this or that--fine. I've been called a lot worse by a lot lesser people. This is a cakewalk compared to the other stuff I've been through. "

Rose Sr., 53, was banned from baseball in August 1989 for betting on sports and later served a prison sentence after pleading guilty to two counts of filing false income taxes.

"I don't think it's going to make a mockery of the game," the elder Rose said. "When you are making a mockery of the game is when you start bringing back players who are 40, 50 years old and letting them play--not when you put minor league kids like Petey on the field. To say they are a mockery of the game is to say that minor league baseball is a mockery of the game."

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