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4192: The Crowning of the Hit King (2010)

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On the evening of September 11, 1985, before a sellout crowd of 52,000 at Riverfront Stadium in Cincinnati, Pete Rose was poised to collect hit number 4,192 of his long brilliant career, ... See full summary »

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Marty Brennaman ...
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On the evening of September 11, 1985, before a sellout crowd of 52,000 at Riverfront Stadium in Cincinnati, Pete Rose was poised to collect hit number 4,192 of his long brilliant career, passing Ty Cobb as the all-time career hits leader. Rose came up to bat in the first inning against the San Diego Padres Eric Show and on the fourth pitch lined a clean single to left center. As he reached first base, thousands of camera flash bulbs fired off rapidly, his teammates mobbed him, fireworks exploded above the stadium and the crowd overwhelmed him with an unprecedented nine-minute standing ovation. In 1963 Pete Rose ran to first base on a walk. Baseball was never the same. From Pete's first at bat to that immortal September evening where history was made, "4192" traces the Hit King's rise as one of baseball's greatest and most controversial stars. Pete Rose was perhaps the most versatile player in Major League Baseball history, having played five hundred or more games at five different ... Written by Anonymous

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22 October 2010 (USA)  »

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Has a particular end result in mind, but does it well.
1 November 2010 | by (Cincinnati, OH, USA) – See all my reviews

This review contains spoilers only if you don't know much about sports history, but I digress...

In 2009 James Toback directed the film Tyson. A documentary about "Iron Mike" Tyson that took you through his rocky childhood, his relationship with Cus D'Amato, his meteoric rise, and devastating fall. The aim of that particular doc was clear: It attempted to humanize the former heavyweight champion.

I see the same ambitions with 4192: The Crowining of the Hit King. Not in the sense that it tries to humanize Charlie Hustle. Many baseball fans (including myself) already sympathize with Pete Rose, knowing full well his lifetime ban was caused by his own pride and hubris.

What this documentary does attempt to do (and I believe succeeds at doing) is to acknowledge Pete Rose as an extraordinary baseball player to whom few can hold a candle. Like Toback 4192's director, Terry Lukemire, delves into Rose's childhood, his influences as ascended in the ranks (father Harry Rose and Tony Perez), however it ends when Rose breaks Cobb's record. placing the ending there specifically states the film's purpose: To make a case, based purely on merit, for Rose's entrance into Cooperstown.

The way Lukemire makes his case, however, is absolutely brilliant. It's really amazing how good a documentary you can make when you have choice stock footage and good editing. Also like Toback, Lukemire really knows how to draw fantastic responses from his interviews. I have never seen Pete Rose more animated and expressive (keep in mind I was born after the Big Red Machine) and hearing his recollections was the strongest part of the picture.

4192: The Crowning of the Hit King does have a specific end result that it's aiming for. With that in mind it does it incredibly well and I highly recommend this documentary.


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