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ROSEY APPEARNCE: Pete Rose attended his first 500 on Sunday.

Baseball’s hit king grew up in Cincinnati, about a two-hour drive from Indianapolis, and played and managed in his hometown before receiving a lifetime ban from the commissioner’s office in 1989 following an investigation of his gambling.

Until USAC official Dick Jordan invited Rose to join him at the track this year, Rose never had time to make the two-hour drive from Cincinnati to Indy.

“This is one of two sports deals you never get to participate in as a baseball player, this and the one in Louisville,” Rose said, referring to the Kentucky Derby. “You don’t get many Memorial Days off, usually have double-headers, so I’ve been to two Derbys and this is my first Indy 500.”

As for his Hall of Fame chances, Rose remains hopeful that he will make it in one day.

But he’s certainly not fretting baseball’s decision. He says he wraps up work each day in Las Vegas at 4:30 p.m. and goes home and watches baseball every night.

“You can’t worry about that,” he said, wearing wide-rimmed, yellow-tinted glasses. “I know what kind of players I was, and the fans know what kind of player I was. At this age, people ask if you had a good morning today and you say `Yeah, because I got up.’”


STILL THE ONE: The IndyCar Series announced Sunday that it has agreed to a two-year extension to continue its partnership with Apex-Brasil and the Brazilian Trade and Investment Promotions Agency.’

The deal lasts through 2014. The two groups have been working with IndyCars since 2008.

“The results exceeded our expectations generating so far over $2 billion in new businesses for Brazilian exporters, and at every race, we see more great results and discover more potential for growth,” Apex-Brasil president Mauricio Borges said.