The hit king of Major League Baseball could’ve been laying the wood rather than swinging it. At least according to the man himself. Long before he had success on the diamond, 17-time All-Star Pete Rose excelled on the gridiron and came close to taking the field for the University of Tennessee.
“To be honest with ya, I was a much better football player than I was a baseball player,” Rose said via Talking To Titans With Rob Grough.
“If I’d have been a good student, I’d have went to college and played football,” Rose said to Grough. “I almost went to the University of Tennessee. I flew down there for a recruiting trip one time. And…I just didn’t dig school.”
But Rose is no dumb jock. In fact, his decision to bypass the Volunteers literally made him a millionaire and a legend of baseball. He holds a slew of MLB records, including most hits and games played, was named NL MVP (’73), World Series MVP (’75) and has three World Series rings.
The main reason for Rose’s athletic prowess? He says that sports were all kids had back in his day.
“Back in the ’40s, ’50s and ’60s, that’s all we had to do was sports,” Rose said. “We didn’t have the iPads, we didn’t have the computers, we didn’t have the iPhones. We didn’t have none of that stuff.