Geno and Charlie, 36 years ago tonight

Two days after losing 19-0 to the Expos, more than 31,000 fans showed up at Fulco to watch a Braves team that was 14 games under .500 play the Reds. One night earlier, a season-high 45,007 showed up at the House Ivan Allen Built.  The attraction: Pete Rose’s hitting streak, extended to 44 games.

Facing a rookie pitcher, Larry McWilliams, and a team with the worst ERA in the NL, odds were good Rose would reach 45 games. He led off with a walk as the Reds jumped out to a 3-0 lead. The Braves responded with 2 runs in their half of the first and by the 9th were up 16-4. Gene Garber, who came in the 7th inning when the lead was just 4 runs, struck out Junior Kennedy and the Mayor of Statesboro. With one out to go, Rose came to the plate looking for his first hit. He struck out on a change-up, ending the game and the Hit King’s streak as the crowd went wild.

Rose made an ass of himself, whining that Garber should’ve challenged him with a fastball. Never mind that, two weeks earlier, Rose had extended the streak with a bunt single against the Phillies.

Bitching aside, it was the highlight of the year for the Bravos. Listen to the game here.



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