Originally Posted by Brutus
I wouldn't be too dismissive of that.
Pete Rose didn't have very good speed, obviously. However, as a percentage of non-hits by fielders, he reached on an error 2.8% of the time in his career. The league average during the 70s was 1.6%. That means he was reaching base close to double that of the league average. Furthermore, for the productive two thirds of his career he was an everyday player, his BABIP was around .330, which likely means he was beating out some infield hits.
Those extra errors and infield hits can add up over the course of a season. The mere fact you're running every play out can sometimes cause fielders to rush a throw when they otherwise wouldn't. Rose did that, which is a lot of the reason he reached on those extra errors.
I am not going to worry over 4-6 times he reached base on errors a season. Billy Hamilton reached on an error 6 times in Louisville this year and one of those was on a dropped pop up to shortstop. Errors aren't the result of someone running fast to first base.
As for his BABIP, it was probably because he was a switch hitter who used the entire field, not because he ran super duper hard to first base. I am sure he had some infield hits, but it wasn't carrying his BABIP.