Pete Rose may be the hit king, but he was no hit with some kids and parents at the U.S. Army Reds Legends Baseball Camp last week. The man whose name symbolizes the best years of the Reds was the worst speaker on a great program – no contest.
“It was a complete embarrassment,” said Staff Sgt. Steven Tischer, commander of the Colerain-Highland Ridge U.S. Army Recruiting Station that sponsored the baseball camp for 7- to 14-year-olds. “You don’t swear in front of kids, that’s just common sense. He dropped the F-bomb and the S-bomb. He told them winning is everything and if you get second place you’re just losers.”
I asked Tischer about Rose’s July 26 visit after getting an e-mail from Renee Collins of Mason, who went to the camp with her son and some of his teammates.
“It was such a great week,” she said. “My son goes to camps a lot and this was by far the best. It was so wonderful except for that one hour.”
She said Rose’s talk was “weird” – something that “might have been appropriate for a Kiwanis Club, but not for kids.”
“He asked the kids to just ‘forgive his French,’ but there was hardly a word they didn’t hear from the bad language dictionary,” she said. “When he arrived with his entourage, it was like Elvis had just entered the building.”
Among the remarks Collins heard from Rose:
“His comment that he was (bleeped) off that Marge didn’t leave him any money in her will and that she left it all to the zoo. His comment about how Marge loved to smoke and she would have smoked in her sleep if someone was there to hold her cigarette all night. His comment that he saw Joe DiMaggio in the shower and he saw more of him than Marilyn Monroe ever did. His comment on a good friend of his that was a gambler – and how I could go on.”
Seems to me these complaints are a bit much. Sure, Pete’s remarks might’ve been over the top, but that’s nothing compared to letting Death Wish serenade the kids with his horrible cover of “Wonderwall”.