Pete Rose Jr. turns to coaching - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

Pete Rose Jr. turns to coaching

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Posted by Rich Miller - email

EVANSVILLE, IN (WFIE) - It's a couple of hours before the first pitch at Bosse Field and a guy wearing a backwards cap adorned with the Cincinnati Reds logo is talking hitting with an outfielder for the Otters.

Pete Rose Jr. looks like his father and despite not having a long major league career like his famous dad, he does know a thing or two about hitting.

"That's what it's all about here. Getting guys out of here and to the next level and I do everything that I can to help them," he says of the Florence Freedom hitting coach job he just accepted June 20.

"PJ" Rose actually played professional baseball in some capacity for 20 years including a handful of big league games with the Cincinnati Reds.  From 1989-2009, Rose Jr. posted a career .270 average with 1,924 professional hits.

Now 40 years old, he goes way back with the Otters' manager, Wayne Krenchicki.  It started more than two decades ago in the major leagues in Cincinnati, as Pete Jr.'s dad was chasing one of the most historic records in baseball history.  Krenchicki was a Reds' infielder while Pete Jr. hung around the team on a regular basis.

 "Very good kid, you know," said Krenchicki of the young Pete Jr. "He was cocky, but he had a reason to be cocky."

"You know, I was in the clubhouse bothering all the players and I'm sure I bothered Wayne a ton of times," said Rose Jr.  "Probably diving in his locker or something, but (he's) good people."

Just 15 years old, Pete Jr. sat in the same dugout and wore the same uniform as Wayne Krenchicki the night Pete Rose broke baseball's career hit record.   Krenchicki calls the moment "an absolutely unbelievable experience."

Now 25 years later, these two men, bonded by baseball history share the same field again, in places like Evansville.  

"I've known Wayne forever and, you know, it never changes," Rose explained.  "Once you see them, you kind of pick right up, it's that brotherhood you have when you play and that's what the game's all about."

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