For the second time this summer, all-time hit king Pete Rose is scheduled to suit up and serve as a coach in a professional baseball game.
The Florence Freedom of the independent Frontier League have announced plans to honor the Cincinnati native on Tuesday, Sept. 2 by retiring his No. 14 and allowing him to coach first base. The retiring of his jersey number will come during a special on-field ceremony during the seventh inning stretch. When it happens, the Freedom will become the first professional team to officially retire Rose's jersey. Additionally, Rose will also throw out the game's ceremonial first pitch.
The event is intended to draw both headlines and fans for an organization that is constantly looking for ways to drum up attention in the minor league baseball landscape. Naturally, the team is giving fans a variety of options to take part in the festivities (for a nominal fee of course).
In honor of Pete's number 14, reserved tickets that evening will be $14. Dugout tickets are $16 and VIP tickets, which include in-seat waitress service, are $18 for the evening. All tickets and ticket packages can be purchased by calling the Freedom Box Office at 859-594-4487 or online at florencefreedom.com.
Rose will also meet for 60 minutes with 100 fans who purchase a meet and greet. The $114 package includes hearing Rose address the group for 10 minutes, personally meeting the hit king, taking a picture with Rose and getting one Freedom memorabilia item autographed. Only Freedom memorabilia is allowed to be autographed that night. The meet and greet also includes a reserved ticket to the game and will take place at the ballpark from 4:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Fans also have the opportunity to purchase a pre-autographed Freedom item by Mr. Rose for $55. This includes a reserved ticket to the game.
So there you have it. Book your calendars, folks. If you're worried about missing a Reds home game by going to this one, rest assured the Reds are on the road in Baltimore on Sept. 2.
Earlier this summer, Rose participated in a similar publicity stunt by managing the Bridgeport Bluefish of the independent Atlantic League for a game.
Via Cincinnati Enquirer