I have always been against the reinstatement of Pete Rose. With recent events though I have thought some on this issue and I’ve changed my mind. It has been 24 years since Pete Rose was banned. Pete Rose was wrong in betting on baseball. That is the #1 rule that everyone in the game knows- you can’t bet on the games. Although Pete only bet on his Reds to win and never against his team it was still wrong and against the rules. No question. It has been 24 years though. Pete Rose is in his 70’s now and is a harmless old man with a bad haircut. By banning Pete I think something happened that they never saw happening-he became more special by NOT being in the Hall of Fame than if he were in the Hall of Fame.
In a conversation Quinn Maddux had a good point. Only hardcore baseball fans today who know the history of the game could tell you about a Tris Speaker or a Sam Crawford or a Sam Rice but even casual and non-fans today know about Shoeless Joe Jackson. If Jackson hadn’t been banned due to the Black Sox throwing the 1919 World Series- Jackson would be there today with Speaker, Crawford, Rice- as a great player from the games history that most have no knowledge of. Being banned in a way was the best thing that happened to Rose. No doubt he’s made a lot of money over the past quarter century because he has been banned.
We all made mistakes. Pete Rose has made his share of mistakes in his lifetime that is certain. I do know that I saw Pete Rose play on numerous occasions and his qualifications for the Hall of Fame are without question. Baseball celebrated Pete during his playing days for his style of play. He was the poster boy for the game in the late 1960’s and 1970s. He is a deeply flawed man. But I do think enough is enough. Lift the ban and put him in the Baseball Hall of Fame.
I do not expect this will happen though. The talk around the campfire is if Allan “Bud” Selig Jr. ever retires as The Commish- that part of the deal for the next Commish will be to agree to uphold the ban on Peter Edward Rose. I think at this point it has become something more than it was ever intended when A. Bartlett Giamatti barred him in 1989. I believe Giamatti’s death right after the banning of Rose-sealed Rose’s fate. Rose will never get into the Baseball Hall of Fame during his lifetime. Maybe his grandchildren will live long enough to go to Cooperstown when they finally let him in -sometime around 2060.