Even though Pete Rose is persona non grata in MLB, that doesn't mean fans from all over the country still don't love the guy. Yeah, he gambled on baseball and proceeded to lie about it for years, but he was still one of the greatest hitters to ever play the game.
Which is why so many people show up to collectibles shows and other events featuring Rose to meet one of their childhood heroes, and maybe get a picture or an autograph. Of course, there's one Pete Rose fan who is probably wishing he never met his hero right about now. Jim Scornerston met Rose on October 4th when he was signing autographs at Field of Dreams inside Caesar's Palace, and he said that Rose not only seemed annoyed by the fact he hadn't bought anything, but also made fun of his lisp.
"I told him how much I used to love to get up Saturday mornings with my sister to watch 'The Baseball Bunch,'" said Scornerston, referring to a syndicated TV baseball show hosted by Rose's former teammate, Johnny Bench.
According to Scornerston, Rose was "clearly annoyed" and responded by mocking Scornerston's lisp, saying, "Did ya thee me on Thaturdayth? With your thithter?' Then just looks away."
"I was humiliated. I'm embarrassed just to repeat the story now," said Scornerston, 33.
"At first, it'd happened so fast I almost thought he was trying to be funny, I forced an embarrassed little laugh. And said, 'OK, just wanted to say hi.' He just says (still looking away), 'Roger that.'"
When Scornerston left the store and began sharing the account with a buddy, they saw Rose "staring right at us." Rose made a wincing expression and then waved his hand behind him, suggesting he had passed gas, said Scornerston.
"Real class," he added.
Of course, Rose denies any of this ever happened and said that he welcomes all fans, whether they buy any memorabilia or not. He even brings cookies which he signs for kids whose parents can't afford to purchase anything, which is nice.
Still, considering that this is Pete Rose we're talking about here, I have a hard time believing anything he says.