Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus have dominated the charts ever since the release of Old Town Road and they’re just a little bit shy away from breaking the record of the longest a hit single has topped the Hot 100.
The tune is most definitely a catchy one, and Cyrus is working to have its success initiate a particularly touching conversation. The singer is apparently determined to see Pete Rose’s (aka Charlie Hustle) name inducted into the Hall of Fame.
Rose is for most fans one of the best players to ever set foot on a baseball field, maybe the greatest of all time. His numbers prove it, seeing as he still leads the pack in terms of games he has played, hits, and singles, yet he retired in 1986. He then went into a coaching capacity till 1989, when all hell broke loose.
That year, the player-turned-coach was penalized for allegedly betting on games he either played in or coached, with his punishment being permanent ineligibility. Two years later, the Baseball Hall of Fame voted to ban all those on the ineligibility list from induction, putting an end to any hopes Charlie Hustle might have had.
Although the former athlete had always denied the allegations leveled against him, he finally came clean in 2004, admitting that it was all true. He put money on the Reds both as player and coach, violating the rules of the game.
Why the Interest?
So why would a singer be interested in a baseball player’s legacy? Well, Billy grew up in Kentucky playing baseball, and his time at Georgetown was actually thanks to a baseball scholarship.
That was right about the time when everything Rose touched on the baseball field turned to gold, and it was only natural that the kid would idolize him. Although Billy ditched the sport for music, he still holds his idol in high regard.
While appearing on ESPN to talk about his music, Billy steered the conversation into baseball, making sure he mentioned both the sport and the player in all of his replies. When asked about his newfound popularity, Billy compared his song’s success to Pete Rose’s success.
He said that Old Town Road was at number 14 in the Top 100, and he saw a picture of Rose wearing the exact jersey number holding a hand up, and memories of his playing days came flashing back. He went as far as posting the image on Twitter, with the caption that the baseball legend deserves to be inducted.
Guess what? Billy even went as far as saying that he wasn’t on the show on the account of his song’s success, but rather because he started the Charlie Hustle movement. His interviewer (Le Batard) must have had a tough day of the job you bet!
Le Batard tried as much as possible to get away from baseball, but Cyrus was all about how music and the sport are alike. As he put it, it takes a lot before one gets a hit in either, and if you’re ever knocked down, the only choice you’ve got is to get back on your feet.