Best Cincinnati Reds Ever: Pete Rose v. Don Gullett


First Round Matchup No. 1 Pete Rose v. No. 16 Don Gullett


Pete Rose may not be in the Baseball Hall of Fame, and it’s probably fair to say he’ll never get elected, but his record-setting numbers for the Cincinnati Reds speak for themselves. The all-time hit leader (4,256 hits) in Major League baseball history, Rose had a knack for getting himself on base. Rose led the league in hits seven times, led in doubles five times, had the highest batting average thrice and topped 200 hits 10 different times — a Major League record.

He played 19 seasons with the Reds, including the first 16 seasons of his career, and the career .303 hitter finished with more walks (1,566) than strikeouts (1,143) and received Most Valuable Player votes in 15 different seasons; winning the award in 1973 despite hitting just five home runs. Rose also won the Rookie of the Year award in 1963 and was a 17-time All-Star including 13 appearances with Cincinnati.

Rose also has the following Major League records: most five-hit games (10), most 20-game hitting streaks (7), most seasons with 150 games played (17) and is the only player to play 500 or more games at five different positions. He also holds the National League record for longest hitting-streak at 44 games.

Rose appeared in 42 career postseason games with Cincinnati, had 17 walks to just 13 strikeouts and sported a .376 average. He won two World Series titles with the Reds (1975 and 76) and a third with Philadelphia in 1980.

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Charlie Hustle was the World Series MVP for the Big Red Machine in 1975 and was named to the All-Century Team spanning from 1900-2000. Rose won the Gold Glove Award twice and earned the Silver Slugger Award (with Philadelphia) in the strike-shortened 1981 season at age 40 despite not hitting a home run, essentially epitomizing his career.

As part of the Reds’ Hall of Fame weekend from June 24-26 this year, Rose will be inducted into the Reds Hall of Fame in addition to having his No. 14 jersey retired by the team — the 10th player to do so.

Rose was also the Roberto Clemente Award winner in 1976, the sixth player to win the award at that time, joining five first-ballot Hall of Famers.


The nine-year pro, Gullett spent his first seven seasons with the Cincinnati Reds. Getting his first chance at 19 years old, Gullett only struck out 76 batters in 77 2/3 innings with a 2.43 ERA. He made just two starts in his rookie season, but it was from that point forward that the Reds new they had something special.

Three years later Gullett was an 18-game winner, threw seven complete games and was a vital piece of the Reds’ 99-63 record. He won 17 games a year later and finished seventh in the Cy Young Award voting before finishing fifth the following year as a 15-game winner and ace of of the Big Red Machine.

The former first-round pick maintained his pace over the next two seasons finishing with a career 91-44 and a 3.03 ERA record with Cincinnati. After two additional years with the Yankees, Gullett’s presumably Hall-of-Fame-pace career prematurely ended as his once fear-imposing left shoulder was dismantled. He ended as a three-time World Series champion (twice with the Reds in 1975 and ’76) in back-to-back-to-back fashion, also winning one in 1977 with New York.

He pitched in 17 career postseason games with the Reds including five — with two saves — in his age-19 season. He contributed to the four-game sweep of the Yankees in the 1976 World Series by tossing 7 1/3 giving up one run and allowing just five hits. He was inducted to the Reds Hall of Fame in 2002.

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