Pete Rose to manage pro baseball game - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Pete Rose to manage pro baseball game

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(File photo.) (File photo.)
(FOX19) -

Pete Rose is back in baseball – at least for one game.

The Cincinnati native and MLB hits leader will manage the independent league Bridgeport Bluefish on Monday June 16th.  Rose, who is still serving a lifetime ban from MLB, will be managing a team for the first time since 1989.

"I'm doing this because I love baseball," Rose said when speaking to the media on Saturday. "I love young players because they bring you one thing you need in sports – enthusiasm. These young men are here working their butts off. They don't have egos – they are hungry. They run hard and they play hard, all the time. In the late '80's I think thirty-three of my players had their first Major League hit. I'm proud of that. Guys like Chris Sabo, Kurt Stillwell and Eric Davis. I love coaching young players like them."

The Bluefish are not affiliated with any Major League teams.

"(This is) one of the biggest and [most] influential announcements in not only franchise history, but in professional baseball in the last 25 years," said Bluefish GM Ken Shephard.

The Bridgeport Bluefish play in the Atlantic League.  Their current manager, former big leaguer Willie Upshaw, will assume a coaching role the day Rose manages.

"I will tell each of the players in the clubhouse a few things before the game," added Rose. "I will look at each of them and say that every one of you guys has more ability right now than I did at 18 years old. I was told that I was too slow, didn't have a strong arm, and didn't have power, but I got an opportunity and I worked the rest of it out. I out worked people, out hustled people, and had more determination. You have to prepare yourself right and the rest will take care of itself. You set your mind right and winning will fall into place and there is no better motivation than to win. It's why you play the game – to win. Use this second chance opportunity in this talented league and 'Think Big."

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