May 5, 1978. Cincinnati's Riverfront Stadium. 37 year old Reds third baseman Pete Rose becomes the 13th player in big league league history, and the first since Al Kaline did ten years earlier, to record 3000 hits.
Needing two hits to reach the milestone and facing National League All Star pitcher Steve Rogers and the Montreal Expos, Rose beats out an infield chopper in the third inning to record hit #2999.
On his next at bat (in the fifth inning), facing a 1-0 count, Pete delivers a sharp single to left center field. The home town crowd erupts with a five minute standing ovation. The Reds dugout empties on the field and former teammate, and current Expos first baseman Tony Perez hands Rose the milestone baseball. Perez and Rose broke into professional baseball together in 1960.
Rose reaches the milestone in only his 16th major league season, quicker than any of the other dozen players before him to accomplished the feat. The Reds lose the game 4-3.
Six years and two teams later, Pete collects hit #4000... as a member of the Montreal Expos.