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Reds Are Victorious over Pirates, 5-2, at Crosley Field

Apr. 9, 1963 - Jim O’Toole, the cocky Irishman who had insisted the opening day assignment should be his, converted the boast into reality yesterday with a beautifully pitched 6-hitter as the Cincinnati Reds defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates, 5-2, before a crowd of 28,896 at Crosley Field. The game marked the major league debut of second baseman Pete Rose (pictured #14), who had emerged as the most pleasant surprise of the exhibition season for Reds manager Fred Hitchinson. O’Toole, helped along by four double plays — two of which Rose started — and working with a lead after the first inning when Frank Robinson slammed a two-run homer, frequently brushed with trouble. On the other hand, four of the Pirates’ hits were infield scratches, and three errors by the Reds’ defense served further to harass O’Toole. But if he was annoyed, it was never apparent. Robinson unloaded his 2-run smash on a 2-2 pitch with two out in the first. It followed a base on balls by Rose, the rookie by way of Western Hills High School in Cincinnati. Though Rose committed one of the Reds’ errors, the 21-year-old was well received by the crowd for other defensive work. In addition to starting two of the double plays, he served as pivot on another and came up with two extraordinary stops. His glove work prompted Hutchinson to state confidently after the game with confidence that the rookie will start against Philadelphia today. “Rosey played fine,” said Hutch as he gulped down a refreshment. Rose said he was quite elated with his performance, but he was disappointed in his error. “When I booted the ground ball, my mind was somewhere else at the time,” he said. “Just the inning before, I struck out. I was still thinking about that, I guess.”


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