In 1962, future Pulitzer Prize–winning author Alex Haley sat down with jazz musician Miles Davis for what would become an institution of American journalism—the Playboy Interview. To celebrate the Interview’s 50th anniversary, Playboy has culled 50 of its most (in)famous Interviews and will publish them over the course of 50 weekdays (from September 4, 2012 to November 12, 2012) via Amazon’s Kindle Direct platform. Here, a glimpse at our conversations with baseball great Pete Rose from the September 1979 and May 2000 issues.
“How would I describe me? Well, I have fun. I play the game with enthusiasm. I play unorthodox. I’m not graceful. You know, most guys are graceful. But I’m not one of those guys that everything’s got to look smooth. I swing good. But I’m not smooth when I catch a ball. I’m not smooth when I run. But I just play like a roughneck. I play baseball like a football player would play it. I’m haul and I’m tough.”
“I ain’t gonna try to satisfy everyone. The Reds’ management told me not to drive my Rolls-Royce to the ball park, because it makes the fans mad. I told them to go to hell. I worked hard for that car.”
“What is the sense of having a fantasy about going to bed with somebody that is supposed to be the prettiest girl in the world? If I can’t do it, why should I waste my time even wondering about it? Sitting here right now, I am fantasizing about playing in the world series with the Phillies. I would like that to happen.”
“If I had been busted for drugs instead of gambling, I’d still be managing the Reds and baseball would be paying for my rehab.”
“Going into the Hall of Fame is not going to let me make a living. I’m not knocking the Hall of Fame—my kids would think that’s the greatest thing in the world, because after ten years they’d see their daddy for what he was, a great ballplayer. All they’ve heard their whole lives is what a louse I am. But is having a plaque on a wall in Cooperstown going to make me a couple of million dollars a year? I’m a baseball person, a baseball teacher. I want to get back on the field. I’m the best ambassador baseball has, and I can’t step on a big-league field.”
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