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On This Date in Sports April 13, 1984: Rose 4K Expo

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Old faces in new places, brings Pete Rose north to the Montreal Expos. Playing on the 21st anniversary of his first hit, Rose gets career hit 4,000 with a fourth-inning double off a Jerry Koosman of the Philadelphia Phillies. Rose who had played with the Phillies from 1979-1983 was released after the World Series and signed with Montreal. He would play just 95 games for the Expos before ending the season as Player Manager with the Reds.

As the 1984 season began, Pete Rose approaching the age of 43 was still in pursuit of the all-time hits record of 4,191 held by Ty Cobb. Holding the National League record, Rose needed just ten hits to become the second player in baseball history with 4,000 hits. Released by the Phillies after the 1983 World Series, Pete Rose surprised most experts when he signed to play with the Montreal Expos. Rose had hoped to get his 4,000th hit in Cincinnati, but after getting two hits in each of the first two games of a three-game series at Riverfront Stadium he was held hitless and went into the Expos home opener with 3,999 hits.

The Montreal Expos hosted Rose’s former team the Philadelphia Phillies in their home opener at Olympic Stadium, after going 4-4 to start the season on the road. All eyes were on Pete Rose playing on the day before his 43rd birthday as he was batting leadoff and playing left field. After flying out in the first inning, Rose got a second shot at history quickly when the Expos got a run in on an error in the second inning. Pete Rose would reach on an error himself, as Montreal plated two runs on errors to take a 2-0 lead. After the Phillies scored on an RBI single by Bo Diaz, Pete Rose came to the plate a third time, following a leadoff walk to pitcher Charlie Lea. This time, Rose would not be denied, doubling down the right field line to the delight of the 48,060 fans on hand. Rose and Lea would later score on a two-run single by Tim Raines. In the sixth inning, Rose reached base on a walk, while Gary Carter doubled home, Andre Dawson, to give Montreal a 5-1 lead in the seventh. Charlie Lea would pitch into the ninth earning the win, as Gary Lucas came on to record the final out and collected a save.

Pete Rose would not have a long stay in Montreal, as he played just 95 games with Expos, batting .259 in 95 games. On August 16th, Rose would go home as he was traded to the Cincinnati Reds, his hometown team, for whom he spent most of his career with from 1963-1978. The Expos would get Tom Lawless in return for Rose, who would become a player-manager in Cincinnati. Pete Rose would go on to set the all-time hit record in 1985, finishing his career with 4,256 hits.