Pete Rose has the most hits in MLB history, collecting 4256 over the course of his 24-year big league career.
Rose broke in with the Cincinnati Reds in 1963, winning the National League Rookie of the Year Award on the back of a .273 batting average and the first 170 of his hits.
He would star with the Reds through the 1960s and most of the 1970s, winning the 1973 NL MVP award en route to helping Cincinnati turn into the Big Red Machine juggernaut that won five division titles, four pennants, and two World Series titles during the 70s.
Rose left Cincy as a free agent before the 1979 season, signing with the Philadelphia Phillies, who he helped win a world championship in 1980 and another pennant in 1983.
A free agent again for 1984, Rose signed with the Montreal Expos before helping orchestrate a trade back home to Cincinnati that August to become the Reds manager, while still continuing to play.
By that time, Charlie Hustle had accumulated more than 4000 hits and was taking aim at Ty Cobb’s 4191, the most hits in MLB history up to that point.
On September 11, 1985, after a summer (plus!) of hype, Rose slapped hit number 4192 off Eric Show of the San Diego Padres at home in Riverfront Stadium.
The record was his, and his legacy was complete — until a betting scandal landed him on baseball’s permanently ineligible list, and outside the Hall of Fame, a mere four years later.
Subsequent scrutiny of Cobb’s game logs reveal he likely had one less hit, for a total of 4190, which means Rose actually broke the mark on September 8, when the Reds played the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field.
Either way, Cobb and Rose are the only players with more than 4000 safeties, and the mark for most hits in MLB history still belongs to The Hit King … Cooperstown or not.