i saw rose second half of career. great player obviously.
once my mom let me hold her camera at the ball game. we were behind third and rose hit a triple. through no skill of my own, i snapped a picture of rose doing his usual head first slide into third with both rose and the ball frozen next to each other in the air.
besides the all-time hit record, in my opinion more impressive than the all time home record, rose also set or was near records for games played, etc., which means he played at the top level about as long as anyone in history. also he played and made the all-star game at first, second (before my time), third and outfield, and even won some golden gloves.
strangely enough, running out walks and spiking the ball do in fact have a baseball purpose. it is possible to get to second on a wild pitch or bad throw back to the pitcher, and by rule you must voluntarily release a caught ball (if you later trip over the foul line after and drop the ball it is not a legal catch). but i have never heard of rose actually getting to second on a walk, or any infielder losing a catch by tripping later. yes he was an arogant showoff and did these things, and the foolish head first slides, to draw attention to himself.
he was said to be the least liked teammate on every team he played on. he said he wanted to be a 'scab' in the 1972 strike, one of only two players, before free agency and ballplayers getting filthy rich. talk about having no idea about what being a teammate is.
as a fan, and a retired baseball better (no i didnt bust out), the only way the dude should get in the hall of fame is like i did, have his mom buy him a ticket (ok, i was a kid when i went there). there is no excuse for a baseball employee to be involved in baseball gambling, no matter what. the hall of fame penalty is proper and should be enforced strictly.