Any baseball fan knows Cincinnati's Pete Rose, but a new generation of fans are losing sight of "Charlie Hustle," the nickname Rose earned as baseball's record-breaking, bowl-cut icon. A new film by Covington-based Barking Fish Entertainment
plans to change that.
Producers hope the film will remind fans of the Rose who finished his playing days with three World Series rings and a slew of records. The feature-length documentary, "4,192: The Crowning of the Hit King," is scheduled to premiere in Los Angeles on July 9 and Cincinnati soon after, during baseball's All-Star break.
Rose's early life, growing up on Cincinnati's West Side, as well as his 23-year playing career are highlighted, from an early-career spring training game in which Yankees legend Whitey Ford gave Rose the "Charlie Hustle" moniker - some say derisively - to the September night 25 years ago when Rose slapped a single (the titular 4,192nd hit of his career) to become the sport's all-time hits leader, surpassing the legendary Ty Cobb.
The anniversary of that occasion was, in part, inspiration for the project, said Barking Fish partner Aymie Majerski.
"My business partner, Terry Lukemire, is a huge baseball fan and, of course, he's from this area, so it was important to him," Majerski explained. "There really hasn't been a documentary on Pete Rose, especially one that focuses on his playing career. That's what we were most interested in, because people have forgotten the kind of player Pete was."
The first hurdle was getting Rose's permission. Though he had declined many offers over the years, Rose quickly signed off on the project and Barking Fish started work last July, Majerski said. Rose contemporaries and baseball Hall of Famers' Marty Brennaman, Tony Perez and Mike Schmidt also quickly signed on, and contribute interviews, she adds.
Work continues on the film, leading up to the July premiere in LA, where Majerski says they'll strike a deal for theatrical circulation and possible broadcast rights. A DVD release in planned for September.
Barking Fish, based in Covington's arts district, was formed five years ago by Lukemire, and Majerski, who is originally from Los Angeles. The partnership has been prolific, working on projects for BET, Showtime, Sony Music and other corporate customers. Their latest work, "Rebound: A Basketball Story," chronicles Simon Kenton High School's 1981 state basketball title after a massive gas explosion that severely damaged the school, injured many and resulted in one death. Narrated by Nick Clooney, it will air on Kentucky Educational Television in June.
Writer: Dave Malaska
Source: Barking Fish partner Aymie Majerski