Which Famous Birthday Boy Are You?


Pete Rose and Kiana Kim (Photo credit: philly.com)

April 14th is Black Day. Not because it’s the day before our taxes are due. It’s a tradition hatched in Korea, and in other southeastern Asian countries, for single folks to mourn the fact that they didn’t receive any gifts for Valentine’s Day.

Really. Single folks wear black, sit around and eat chocolate all day, bemoaning their bad fortunes in the game of love. Sounds like it might be a personal problem. Maybe a lot of these folks need a healthy dose of honesty. Look themselves in the mirror, take some personal responsibility for their circumstances, and get out there and make something happen.

They could take their collective cue from two very different sports heroes with birthdays today.

BASEBALL LEGEND PETE ROSE turns 74 today. The very epitome of making things happen. Getting on base was priority number one for Charlie Hustle. It was a single, a walk, or a hit-by-pitch. Then, a couple of headfirst slides later, he’d score a run for the Cincinnati Reds.

Despite his gambling proclivities, a black mark on his record that should keep him on the outside of baseball looking in, his scrappiness and willingness to sacrifice for the team are admirable qualities for folks in any walk of life. Rose still hustles up about a million dollars annually in autograph and memorabilia sales.

If he had just dropped a little bit of the hubris, developed a conscience, and come completely clean about his gambling on games, it might have been easier to forgive Rose. But competitors like Rose, or Roger Clemens, or Barry Bonds never give in. It’s what made them great ON the field; it’s their Achilles Heel in life.

BASEBALL HALL OF FAMER GREG MADDUX celebrates his 49th birthday today. The ANTI-Pete Rose. Cerebral. Soft-spoken. Honest. The often bespectacled Cubs and Braves pitcher looked like a nerd, never had an overpowering fastball, but worked hard at his craft, and ultimately registered over 300 career wins. Rick Moranis could portray Maddux in a movie. One of the unlikeliest stars in any sport, Maddux displayed his self-effacing spirit during his 2014 Hall of Fame induction speech:

Neither Rose nor Maddux is alone today, eating chocolates and feeling sorry for himself on Black Day. Maddux is no doubt observing his birthday with his wife and two kids. Rose is probably celebrating the way he always did, rounding third base and heading for home. Except not on the baseball field now, but with his longtime partner and Korean-born Playboy hottie Kiana Kim.

Which one are you? The hard-working nerd? Or the brash hustler?

Dave Coombs is a longtime morning radio personality. He identifies with the more boring Greg Maddux.

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