Pete Rose was Major League Baseball’s all-time hit leader, a 17-time all-star, a three-time World Series champion, and even the winner of multiple Gold Glove Award.
Mike Piazza, who was just elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame, was only a 12-time all-star, and he never won a World Series during his 16-year career.
Pete Rose has by far had a better career than Piazza; in fact, Rose is widely regarded as one of the greatest to ever play the game. Yet, he is not in the Baseball Hall of Fame. Rose has been eligible to be on the ballot for quite a few years, and he has not been accepted.
Rose was the manager of the Cincinnati Reds when everything started to go down. In February of 1989, the commissioner of baseball began to question Rose, and by April of 1989, he was banned from the sport forever.
Rose was a gambler who bet on five to ten games of all different sports every day. He bet on baseball, basketball, football and even hockey. He would usually bet at least $2000 on each and every game.
Of course, this is not the reason he is banned. The real offense was that Pete Rose would often bet on his own team. Yes, this seems similar to the White Sox scandal of 1919 when players purposefully lost, throwing the World Series in order to get some extra money from gangsters.
But Pete Rose’s situation is different. He bet on his team not to lose but to win. Of course, what he did is still wrong, but it’s not like he put all of his worst players on the field in order for them to lose; he did what he did when he wasn’t betting. He put his players in the best possible situations for them to win.
In our opinion, what Rose did was wrong, but the greatest baseball player of all time deserves to be in the Hall of Fame. You can’t take away the fact that he dominated everyone he faced when he was on the field.
We think that Rose can help himself a little more though. Up until 2004, Rose completely denied the fact that he was betting on his team. If he had come out in the beginning and admitted what he had done and apologized, then we think that this situation wouldn’t have taken the path that it did.
Even if he had apologized back in 2004, we think that he would be reinstated, but Rose has never even said he was sorry for what he did, and in our opinion that is why he continues to be left off of the Hall of Fame ballot.
Other MLB players have voiced their opinions on Rose. Hall of Fame pitcher Dennis Eckersley said, “I was out to Johnny Bench the other night because he’s down here in Florida. He’s been hassled from day one about Pete. Pete had an opportunity to turn his life around. That’s all he had to do. He should have copped to it a long time ago and shown that he had changed his life. He had his chance. No one wants him there. No one. Just all the fans from Cincinnati. All the players know. You do not break that rule.”
We feel the same as Eckersley. Rose definitely had his opportunity, and he blew it. However, there may still be a tiny window for him, but he has to act on it and right his wrongs quickly.
Other players are in the same boat, such as Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens. They have each been on the ballot for four years and never have gotten in because they have been accused of using PED’s throughout their storied careers.
We think that Bonds and all players like him should be kept out because they have altered their bodies in order to be more successful. But Rose did none of that; he was a pure player and used nothing performance enhancing. He didn’t even bet when he was playing; he bet as a coach where the impact he could have made would be very small.
Overall our thinking is that despite not being apologetic or even admitting what he did for a long time, Pete Rose should be let in the Hall of Fame. There aren’t many other players who have put up stats like his, and that should trounce everything else.