If Bud Selig hears about this, he'll probably go nuts. On Monday, February 9, exiled baseball legend Pete Rose will be within sight of a major-league ballpark when he visits the Tattered Cover's LoDo store to sign copies of his new memoir, My Prison Without Bars, which sells for $24.95 (omissions included). That doesn't mean that Charlie Hustle also plans to drop by Coors Field to, say, check out the pre-season odds that the Rockies will get through 2004 without a pitcher drinking hemlock down in the bullpen, but you never know.
Rose's Denver autograph party will be conducted under some very strict rules. For one thing, "Mr. Rose will sign a maximum of five books per ticketed guest," a store directive informs us. He will not "personalize" the books, which means that little Tommy is out of luck, despite his crippling disease. No photos will be allowed. Not only that, but the all-time hits king and sometime truth-teller will not be autographing any memorabilia. No bats, hats, gloves, jerseys or balls. Want Pete's autograph? Buy a book. Or if the doctor has let you out on a day pass, five books.
Meanwhile, here's a list of other things Pete Rose will not be signing Monday while he's not personalizing books:
• First editions of the late baseball commissioner A. Bartlett Giamatti's memoirs.
• Mug shots.
• Your IOU, in the amount of $8,400 (plus the vig) to Vincent "Little Chops" Cippolini, of Bayonne, New Jersey.
• Photocopies of telephone-company records establishing that, yes, Pete Rose called in bets on baseball games from the Cincinnati Reds clubhouse.
• Hall of Fame electee Paul Molitor's bubble-gum card.
• Hall of Fame electee Dennis Eckersley's bubble-gum card.
• Losing daily-double tickets.
• His real name in baseball circles these days: Mud.