One of baseball’s greatest players wants to make the West Virginia baseball program great, too.
On Jan. 30, Rose will be in in Morgantown as the featured speaker for the Mountaineer baseball team’s annual Lead-Off Dinner.
"“We’re going to have a good banquet,” Rose said in a promotional video. “We’re going to have a lot of fun. Coach (Randy) Mazey has worked real hard to get these recruits to come to West Virginia to play baseball. You’ve got a great basketball program, you’ve got a great football program. We’re going to make it a great baseball program.”"
Mazey completed his third season leading the Mountaineers at has finished at/or above .500 in all three
campaigns. This past season, WVU finished 27-27 after falling to Oklahoma in the Big 12 tournament. In 2014, the Mountaineers went 28-26, losing to Baylor in the Big 12 Tournament.
In 2013, West Virginia had one of its best seasons in recent memory, the Mountaineers’ first in the Big 12, going 33-26. They picked up two wins in the Big 12 Tournament and just missed the final cut for making the NCAA Tournament.
So, like Rose suggests, the Mountaineers are well on their way to becoming a great baseball program. West Virginia has produced a handful of MLB draft picks over the years, and with the addition of Monongalia County Ballpark, the program will be able to attract the finest recruits from the east coast.
"“I’m really excited to have Pete Rose coming to our banquet and supporting Mountaineer baseball,” Mazey said. “He’s the reason I wear No. 14 on my uniform, and when I was growing up, he was the guy that everyone was trying to emulate.”"
This isn’t the first time Rose has appeared in the region recently. In June, he made an appearance at a Washington Wild Things Frontier League game in Washington, Pa. It was his first time in front of reporters and fans, alike, since new documents were revealed that proved he bet on baseball while playing for the Cincinnati Reds.
The controversy will follow Rose wherever he goes, and that includes Morgantown. Rose is also sure to put on a show when he comes to town.