The 2009 Italian Baseball League season might features a big name. Pete Rose Jr. is close to signing with last year’s seventh ranked club GODO, according to sources of Baseball.it. The son of the Major League all-time hits leader Pete Rose is 39 years old and a corner infielder. The talks between both sides are in an advanced stage and the deal could be finalized in a few days.
Rose Jr. was born on November 16th, 1969 in Cincinnati, Ohio, attended high school in Oak Hills and was selected by the Baltimore Orioles in the twelfth round of the 1988 amateur draft. He moved slowly through the minor league systems of the O’s and later the Cleveland Indians, Chicago White Sox and Cincinnati Reds until he reached the big leagues with Cincinnati in 1997. After his eleven-game stint with two hits in 14 at-bats, he was back in the minors, switching between Major League organizations and Independent League clubs.
The past two seasons Rose Jr. played for the famous Long Island Ducks in the Atlantic League. He batted .289 (OBP .354/SLG .434) with 15 homeruns, 65 runs scored and 95 RBI in 129 games. He has a career batting average in the minor and independent leagues of .270 (.341/.400). He started as a third baseman, but played mostly first base the last couple of years. Like his father, Rose Jr. got into criminal trouble, when he distributed a steroid alternative to teammates. He spent one month in prison in 2006.
His father Pete Rose was a member of the “Big Red Machine” in the 1970ies and holds major league records for games (3562), at bats (14,053), hits (4,256) and singles (3,215). The 17-time all-star was banned from Baseball in 1989, because he betted on games, while managing the Reds.
GODO also strengthened the bullpen with James Ricchio, who is from Racine, Wisconsin. The alumni of the Central Michigan University pitched for PIACENZA in the Serie A2 in 2008. The left-hander was their closer and had a 2-2 record with three saves and an ERA of 2.18 in twelve games. He struck out 41 in 33 innings, while walking eleven.