Gambling: Why Pick on Pete Rose?

Charlie Hustle has become the symbol of America's tolerance of gambling -- and the cost of an obsession

He was born with the talent to swing a bat, of course; no way could he have ever compiled 4,256 hits, the all-time career record, without it. But it was not his inborn gift that made Pete Rose the symbol of what Americans consider a vital part of the national ethos. He was Charlie Hustle, the man who ran out even his bases on balls, who played with a boyish exuberance and devil-may- care abandon characterized by the belly-flop, headfirst slides that kept his uniform constantly dirty. He soared far beyond athletes who had vastly more natural grace. A whole generation...

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