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    1984 Pete Rose 4,000th Hit Game Worn Montreal Expos Uniform. Twenty-one years to the day after the 1963 National League Rookie of the Year tripled to record his first Major League hit, the forty-three year old Charlie Hustle doubled at Montreal's Stade Olympique to make the 4,000 Hit Club a duo, joining the illustrious Ty Cobb in this most elite of batting brotherhoods. Presented within this lot, with ironclad first-person provenance, is the jersey, pants, and cap the former Big Red Machine star sported as he drew even with this remarkable milestone.

    Rose came to Montreal only ten hits shy of number four thousand, eager to reach that mark and the even more hallowed figure 191 knocks beyond. Despite a well-deserved reputation as the hardest working player in the game, Rose's prospects had dwindled considerably following his dismissal from the Philadelphia Phillies the previous season, and his signing by the Expos was widely (and perhaps properly) seen by fans and media as little more than a publicity stunt to increase the anemic ticket sales to a French-Canadian audience far more enamored with the rink than the diamond. In the end, Rose's service to the Quebecois would last only ninety-five games, making his Expos gamers far and away the toughest find for Rose uniform collectors.

    Unquestionably this is the best of that bunch, worn on April 13, 1984 when the future Hit King made it an even 4,000, facts noted in 10/10 black sharpie on lower right chest along with Rose's autograph. Number "14" and the "Expos" name and logo are applied in bold tackle twill to the chest, with "Rose 14" similarly affixed on verso. Lower front left interior tail provides the proper "Rawlings [size] 44" label with a "Set 1 1984" flap tag to the right and a "Rose 84" embroidered swatch just above. Matching pants are identically signed and notated by Rose, with "Rawlings [size] 34" label at interior waistband, joined by embroidered swatches stating "Rose 14" and "34/36 - 28 1/2 - 84." A "Set 1 1984" flap tag completes the proceedings. Each piece exhibits light but definite use, exactly proper for a uniform taken out of rotation after a single game's use in Montreal's home opener. The final uniform piece, a "New Era [size] 7 1/4" Expos cap, exhibits wear indicative of use during the preceding three road series which began the season as well as the historic first game in Montreal. "Pete Rose 14" is signed underneath the visor.

    A 3 x 5" index card addressed to Barry Halper, from whose famed collection the uniform is sourced, serves as Rose's personal letter of provenance, and reads, "Barry, The Montreal jersey, pants & spikes are the outfit worn by me when I made my 4,000th hit. They are also autographed and dated by me. Your Pal, Pete Rose."

    A quarter century filled with scandals, lies, and subsequent gritted-teeth admissions since the All-Time Hit King's banishment from baseball has significantly tarnished a reputation which had long been among the most celebrated in the sport. But the true baseball historian, and the savvy hobby investor, will view these indiscretions in their proper context. All shenanigans aside, Pete Rose stands alone as the game's most prolific hitter, holder of what is arguably the most important record in the sport. That's an honest, incredible achievement, completely unsullied by any misdeeds. And one cannot deny that significant precedent has been set by folks like Shoeless Joe Jackson and even by Ty Cobb, whose record Rose annexed, that misbehavior by our heroes will ultimately serve to add further intrigue to the tale, and further value to its related artifacts. It is unlikely that Pete Rose will ever be dethroned as Hit King, but if he is, you can still bet the farm that he won't ever be forgotten. LOA from Heritage Auctions. Full LOA from PSA/DNA (autograph). Full LOA from James Spence Authentication (autograph).

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    August, 2010
    5th Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 6
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 4,993

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