Donald Gary Rose was born on March 19, 1947 in West Covina, California. The six foot three right hander attended Stanford University & was selected in the 11th round of the 1968 draft by the New York Mets.
In 1969 as the Amazing Mets were winning the World Series, Rose was showing promise as a future candidate for the Mets staff going 13-6 in A ball. In 1971 Rose went 11-10 at AAA Tidewater, on a staff with Jon Matlack (11 wins), Jim Bibby (15 wins) & Buzz Capra (13 wins).
Rose got a September call up & made his only Mets appearance on September 15, 1971 at Shea Stadium. He pitched two scoreless innings against the Chicago Cubs, allowing one hit & striking out the opposing pitcher Burt Hooton. Two months later, on December 10th he was involved in one of the biggest trades in Mets history. Rose was a minor part of the deal & New York certainly got the worst end of the deal. Don Rose along with Leroy Stanton & Francisco Estrada all were part of the package that sent Nolan Ryan to the California Angels for Jim Fregosi.
In Anaheim, Rose was now less than 30 miles from his hometown of Covina. He made three relief appearances in May before getting his first career start in Oakland on May 24th. He had a career day that day while making history as well.
In the third inning he got his first career at bat, & became the 9th player in MLB history to hit a HR on the first pitch of his very first career at bat. Although he allowed five runs he still earned the win as the A’s scored six runs behind him. He wouldn’t be as lucky the rest of the way, he appeared in 16 games but lost every other decision going 1-4 on the season with a 4.22 ERA.
He spent the next year in the minors then got traded to the San Francisco Giants for Ed Figueroa. He only appeared in two game with the Giants ending his brief three season playing career in 1974, going 1-4 with a 4.14 ERA lifetime.