Pete Rose returns to dugout in Bridgeport

Some thought they’d never see this, but after 25 years out of baseball, Pete Rose is back in the game.

“I never thought that rose would be back in the game,” said Cincinnati Reds fan Phil Mann, who attended Monday’s game in Bridgeport. “I know this is an independent league game and not the major leagues, but it’s fun and I’m happy for him that he gets a chance to do it.”

Another Reds fan brought his daughter all the way from Miamisburg, Ohio, to see the all-time hit king’s return.

“Pete Rose played every single game, 162 every single year and that’s a legacy. Not just the hits,” Scott Hanig said.

“It amazes me how much love there is for Pete Rose and how much sympathy there is for Pete Rose this many years later,” Mann said.

And that’s why some say tonight’s game isn’t enough for the Hit King.

“Put Pete in the Hall,” one fan said.

Back in 1989, Rose was accused of gambling on games while playing for and managing the Reds. He received a lifetime ban from major league baseball.

This history has made a Hall of Fame possibility a contentious one.

“He did gamble and gambling is an addiction,” said fan Griff Jones. “Today, you have steroid users and drug users and I think his punishment is pretty harsh based on standards of today.”

“Our hats off to Pete,” said Bryan Clark of West Haven. “He’s waited a long time for this. It’s good for the fans.”

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