- Batting average .3028 (168-t)
- On-base percentage .3751 (203)
- Slugging Percentage .4093 (742)
- OPS .7844 (506)
- OPS+ 118 (376-t)
- Games 3,562 (1)
- At-bats 14,053 (1)
- Hits 4,256 (1)
- Walks 1,566 (12)
- Strikeouts 1,143 (140)
- Stolen Bases 198 (332)
- Caught Stealing 149 (19)
- Outs 10,328 (1)
After looking through these numbers, there are some conclusions we can make. Pete Rose played for a long time. He played 24 seasons, played in 254 more games and had 1,689 more at-bats than anyone else in history, and even continued playing while managing the Reds from 1984-1986. He also did a decent job of getting on base and was difficult to strike out.
But what makes him worthy of the Hall of Fame? His OPS+ was under 100 (below average) in six of his final seven seasons. While he was racking up an additional 884 hits during these years and becoming the all-time hits leader, he was not really helping his team. Should he be rewarded for playing until he was 45 simply to set this record? Having 67 more hits than Ty Cobb becomes less impressive when you consider the fact that he had 2,619 more at-bats than Cobb. Or if you consider that Rose had a career .302 average. This is a good career average. In fact, it is the same as the great Mike Greenwell. It is even a few percentage points higher than Juan Pierre's career mark.
How about his slugging percentage? Here are a few examples of players with higher career slugging percentages: Gary Redus, Ron Belliard, Placido Polanco, Don Slaught, Rafael Furcal, DARIN ERSTAD (See FireJoeMorgan.com for more details on Erstad).
But he hustled, you might say. In fact, his nickname was Charlie Hustle. Who cares? I probably appreciate hustle more than anyone else you might know, but you have to be a great ballplayer to be in the Hall of Fame. Hustle points do not count, unless they translate into something tangible. If a player's hustle produces a large amount of stolen bases, that means something to me. Rose was successful on only 57.1% of his steal attempts. That is terrible. Let's move on.
So what does this all mean? It means that Rose played for a long time, probably too long. He had a lot of hits. He also made a lot of outs. The hits he had were mostly singles (3,215 career singles). For a singles hitter to be great, he must have a batting average that is much higher than .302. He must have an on-base percentage that is much higher than .375. For me to consider a player worthy of the Hall of Fame, he has to out-slug Darin Erstad. Forget the debate about whether a player's moral conduct should be considered in Hall of Fame voting. Pete Rose was very much overrated, and his numbers alone make him only a borderline Hall of Famer.