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It Wasn’t The Same Without Pete Rose

October 17, 1990

CINCINNATI (AP) _ It wasn’t the same without Pete Rose.

Watching Cincinnati defeat Oakland 7-0 in the Reds’ first World Series appearance in 14 years was satisfying for fans in the former Reds manager’s boyhood neighborhood of Western Hills. But something was missing.

″Pete Rose is Cincinnati,″ said Barbara Ulmer, who was watching the game at Bacall’s tavern Tuesday. ″I’d like to see him back.″

″I’ve still got the hometown team to root for, but Pete brought them to where they are today,″ said another patron, Keith McCoy, 23.

Rose graduated from Western Hills High School in 1959. Baseball’s all-time hits leader played for his hometown team from 1963 to 1978 and managed the team from 1984 until last year, when he was banned from baseball for life for gambling.

On Aug. 8, he started a five-month sentence at a federal prison in Marion, Ill., for tax offenses.

Residents in working class Western Hills refer to Rose as Pete, and many tell stories about growing up with him.

″Pete was a very good friend. When Pete was manager, I used to love to go the ballpark. But I’ll tell you, I’ve only been twice this year,″ said Dan Gumz, whose father sponsored a team in the 1950s for which Rose worked as a water boy.

Eddie Willis, a 31-year-old factory worker, said that Lou Piniella deserves the credit for managing the Reds this season to the World Series.

″In all honesty, I don’t think Pete was that great a manager. He was kind of a prima donna,″ Willis said.

Willis shrugged when asked whether he was disappointed Rose couldn’t play a part in the Reds’ return to the World Series after playing on their last Series team in 1976.

″He made some big mistakes, and everyone thinks it’s well warranted that he’s in jail now,″ Willis said.

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