A: Pete Rose, whose 10,328 “failures” during his Big League career were the most outs in Major League history. Looks like he may have made one here on his 1973 Topps card, doncha think?

1973-Topps-Pete-Rose

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Of course, Rose had plenty of opportunities to make all those outs, seeing as he also holds the MLB records for most games played(3562), most plate appearances (15890), and most at-bats(14053).

Also of course, all those trips to the plate yielded some positive results, too … not just outs.

Namely, Rose famously chased down Ty Cobb‘s all-time record for hits over a 24-year career that included stints with the Philadelphia Phillies and Montreal Expos in between career-defining runs with the Cincinnati Reds from 1963 through 1978, and from 1984 through 1989.

All told, Rose racked up 4256 hits, still the Major League record, and he maintains a lofty standing on several career lists, including …

  • 1st in singles (3215)
  • 2nd in doubles (746) behind Tris Speaker (792)
  • 6th in runs scored (2165)
  • 14th in walks (1566)
  • Tied for 7th in All-Star Game appearances (17) with Ted Williams

Rose was also a key member of six pennant winners and three World Series champ — the 1975 and 1976 Reds, and the 1980 Phillies.

While a member of the Big Red Machine (and while it was warming up), Charlie Hustle won the 1973 National League MVP award, nabbed two Gold Gloves, and copped three batting titles.

He also gave fans a preview of what lay ahead when he put together a 44-game hitting streak in 1978, making the nation sit up and take notice as he took aim at Joe DiMaggio‘s 56-game mark set in 1941.

Seven years later, and back in Cincinnati, Rose once again mesmerized the sports world during his run toward 4191 (Cobb’s record).

By September 11, 1985, the night he smacked number 4192 against the Padres at Riverfront Stadium, there was no more celebrated athlete that Peter Edward Rose.

That shine was fairly short-lived, of course, as Rose’s betting scandal forever tarnished his image in the game and effectively barred him from election to the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.

So, despite all the accolades he rung up in his career, perhaps Rose’s record for the most outs in Major League history is a fitting encapsulation of the warts and awards, all rolled up into one.

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