Signature Rose slide now permanently remembered with statue

The Cincinnati Reds unveiled a statue of Pete Rose diving into third base on Saturday, June 17, 2017. (WKRC)

CINCINNATI (WKRC) - Aside from the Major League record 4,256 hits and running to first base after a walk, if there was one thing that signified why Pete Rose was called "Charlie Hustle," it was his headfirst slide. Now that image is officially memorialized in the form of a bronze statue outside Great American Ball Park.

The statue was unveiled on Saturday afternoon on the Crosley Terrace outside the main gates with Rose and numerous other members of the "Big Red Machine" on hand for the ceremony, including Baseball Hall of Famers Johnny Bench, Joe Morgan and Tony Perez.

The Rose statue is the eighth at Great American Ball Park - all sculpted by local artist Tom Tsuchiya. The Rose statue joins those commemorating Joe Nuxhall, Frank Robinson, Ernie Lombardi, Ted Kluszewski, Bench, Morgan and Perez. Tsuchiya worked with the Cincinnati Reds, the Reds Hall of Fame and Rose to create the sculpture.

The first 30,000 fans in attendance for Saturday's Reds-Dodgers game received a replica of the new statue.

Last year the Reds retired Rose's uniform, number 14.

The statue ceremony may be the end to honoring Rose's career after it was reported on Thursday that the Baseball Hall of Fame Board of Directors in late December upheld a ban preventing Rose from appearing on the Hall of Fame ballot due to his being on MLB's permanently ineligible list.

That means the 76-year-old Rose has basically run out of options for earning a spot in the Baseball Hall of Fame.

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