Pete Rose Syndication: Westchester County Journal News

On Wednesday, HBO officially announced a four-part documentary about the life and career of Pete Rose, Charlie Hustle & the Matter of Pete Rose.

The series airs on Wednesday, July 24 and Thursday, July 25, with two parts airing each night.

The docuseries is directed by Mark Monroe, known for his work on The Dissident, Icarus, and Lucy and Desi.

The synopsis calls Charlie Hustle & the Matter of Pete Rose “a fascinating portrait of a complex individual full of contradictions – one seeking redemption but not quite ready for full atonement.”

In 1989, Major League Baseball (MLB) legend Pete Rose was handed a lifetime ban from the sport of baseball after an MLB investigation revealed that he had bet on games during his tenure as the manager of the Cincinnati Reds. CHARLIE HUSTLE & THE MATTER OF PETE ROSE takes a retrospective journey, spanning more than 60 years, to tell the story of baseball’s all-time hits leader whose on-field achievements and off-field transgressions have made him one of the most polarizing figures in all of sports.

The documentary series features intimate new interviews and verité footage of Pete Rose, chronicling his life and career in baseball. Extensive archival footage and contextual interviews from teammates, family, friends, and journalists detail Rose’s heroic rise and subsequent banishment from the game and, years later, his bid for reinstatement and place in the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Brash and cocky, Rose earned the nickname “Charlie Hustle” for his do-or-die tenacity, going on to win three World Series titles and breaking Ty Cobb’s record for the most career hits. However, his troubles away from the field would eventually put him in prison for tax evasion and get him expelled from baseball for gambling leading to a permanent stain on the game. Aided by Rose’s ever-colorful insights, CHARLIE HUSTLE & THE MATTER OF PETE ROSE is a fascinating portrait of a complex individual full of contradictions – one seeking redemption but not quite ready for full atonement.

Among those interviewed for the film are Rose, his son Pete Rose Jr, Mike Schmidt, Ken Griffey Sr, Tommy Helms, Eduardo Perez, Ron Cey, Al Michaels, Lesley Visser, Marty Brennaman, Jon Miller, Chad Lowe, Larry Keith, Ted Keith, C. Trent Rosencrans, and Jay Jaffe.

The four episodes are The Longshot, The Dirty Work, One of One, and One Last Record. Here are descriptions of each.

  • Episode One: “THE LONGSHOT”
  • Debut date: WEDNESDAY, JULY 24 (9:00-10:00 p.m. ET/PT)
    • At the age of 81, more than three decades after receiving a lifetime ban for gambling, former Cincinnati Reds star Pete Rose reignites his quest for reinstatement into Major League Baseball (MLB) while recounting his unlikely rise to the top of the sport.
  • Episode Two: “THE DIRTY WORK”
  • Debut date: WEDNESDAY, JULY 24 (10:00-11:00 p.m. ET/PT)
    • Nicknamed “Charlie Hustle” for his down-and-dirty work ethic, Pete Rose becomes the face of baseball. Rose helps transform the Cincinnati Reds into the “Big Red Machine,” winning back-to-back World Series titles in the ‘70s. Behind the scenes, however, his family life begins to fall apart.
  • Episode Three: “ONE OF ONE”
  • Debut date: THURSDAY, JULY 25 (9:00-10:00 p.m. ET/PT)
    • Pete Rose becomes the highest-paid player in baseball and eventually cements his legendary status in 1985 when he breaks Ty Cobb’s record to become MLB’s all-time career hits leader. But a shocking gambling scandal leads to a prison sentence and lifetime banishment from the game he loves.
  • Episode Four: “ONE LAST RECORD”
  • Debut date: THURSDAY, JULY 25 (10:00-11:00 p.m. ET/PT)
    • After years of denial, in 2004, Pete Rose publicly admits that he bet on the game of baseball. Now, two decades after coming clean, Rose confronts the truth about his public image and makes one last bid for MLB reinstatement and enshrinement in the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

Rose is not listed as an executive producer on the project, which is produced by Bad Robot/Zipper Bros Films Productions in association with Greg & Jeff Productions, Diamond Docs, and Sutter Road Picture Company. Other EPs include J.J. Abrams, Sean Stuart, Glen Zipper, Rachel Rusch Rich, Greg Grunberg, Jeffrey Lenko, Nancy Abraham, Lisa Heller, and Bentley Weiner.

My enjoyment of this project will hinge on how much it attempts to celebrate Rose and how deep into the weeds it goes with his gambling and other transgressions. It’s impossible to talk about Rose without fully discussing all of his warts, and hopefully, they’re not glossed over and/or minimized.


About Joe Lucia

I hate your favorite team. I also sort of hate most of my favorite teams.