How can it be that the man with the most all-time hits in major league baseball, be excluded from the hall of fame?
Over 24 seasons, Pete Rose collected 4,256 hits. That’s 67 more hits than Ty Cobbs’ 4,189. Rose also played in 3,562 games, which is also a record. In fact, Rose also had a record 14,053 at bats. In addition, Rose was a key component on 3 World Series winners, won 3 batting titles, 2 gold gloves, and was given the National League Rookie of the Year Award in 1963. Not to mention he appeared in 17 all-star games, playing a record 5 positions. There are at least 15 other records that Rose owns, but I believe my point has been made. With numbers like these, how can you not elect the man to the hall of fame?
In 1989, incoming commissioner Bart Giamatti and then commissioner Peter Ueberroth hired lawyer John Dowd to investigate Roses’ gambling in what many believe was an obvious witch hunt. Rose was banned from baseball when Dowd found betting slips and other evidence with Roses fingerprints and writing on them.
In 1992, then commissioner Fay Vincent shunned Roses application for re-reinstatement, as did Bud Selig when Rose applied again in 1997. Then in 2003, Selig said he would entertain the thought of re-instating Rose but nothing ever materialized.
In 1991, Major League Baseball installed a rule that keeps all players permanently banned from baseball, out of the hall of fame. They say that Pete Roses actions spoil the integrity of the game.
Which brings me to my next point. Why on earth is Ty Cobb in the hall of fame? Cobb slept with a gun under his pillow, because he was afraid his own teammates would hurt him. He sharpenened his spikes to purposely injure base-runners, fought an umpire after a game, and slapped a black elevator operator for being “uppity”. When a black night watchman stepped in, Cobb stabbed him. And got away with it. Real integrity, huh?
But Cobb is in the hall of fame because he was a great ballplayer, as was Pete Rose. I’m not saying Rose was a saint, he was convicted of tax evasion and denied betting on baseball for 15 years, but these incidents had nothing to do with what he did on the playing field. It hasn’t even been proven that he threw any games for financial gain, which would have been an even bigger story.
And let’s not forget the drug abusers who are constantly being allowed to return to the game. Darryl Strawberry has been suspended numerous times for substance abuse, as was former New York Yankee pitcher Steve Howe who was allowed to return 7 times from suspensions. I’m not even going to touch the steroids issue.
Through all that has happened over the years, the fans of Cincinnati have supported Rose . The Reds aren’t allowed to retire Roses # 14. No other player not named Rose has worn that number. Pete Rose Jr. came up for a short stint with the Reds in 1989 and was given his dads number.
There is only one way for major league baseball to make things right with this situation. They must let Pete back into the game he loves so much. Not only would it be great for Rose, but also for the fans who loved to watch him play. Mr Selig, it’s time to forgive and forget. Bring him back, for Pete’s sake.