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Wednesday, November 19, 2003
Rose first NL player to reach 4,000 hits
By Larry Schwartz
Special to

April 13, 1984

Exactly 21 years after getting his first hit, a triple off Pittsburgh's Bob Friend, Pete Rose strokes No. 4,000. Playing for the Expos, Rose doubles into the right-field corner off Philadelphia Phillies left-hander Jerry Koosman in the fourth inning of the Expos' 5-1 victory.

Oddly, the occasion is not marked by any special ceremony except for flashing the number 4,000 on the scoreboard in Montreal. Only Expos batting coach Billy DeMars, who was Rose's batting coach for three years in Philadelphia, runs on to the field to congratulate him.

Ty Cobb (4,191 hits) is the only other player with 4,000 hits. Rose doesn't expect any others to join their exclusive fraternity.

"The way they pay salaries today, most team can't even afford to pay guys for 20 years," Rose says. "And the way they're paying, who would even want to come up and play 20 years?"

It's been an eventful week for Rose. Two days ago he got married for the second time. Today's milestone game also is his first in Montreal with the Expos, who signed him after his release by the Phillies. And tomorrow he will turn 43.

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