Pete Rose: An acceptable punishment?


This article has one important figure attached to it. 4,256. That’s the amount of hits Pete Rose equated in his 23 year playing career. Whilst passing Ty Cobb to become Major League Baseball’s all-time hit leader, he made one fatal mistake.

Pete Rose bet on baseball. He finally admitted that whilst managing the Cincinnati Red’s, he bet on Baseball every night, often to the sums of $10,000. His biggest mistake however is publicly campaigning for 15 years insisting that he did NOT bet on Baseball. Even after the publishing of attorney John Dowd’s 225 page report detailing insurmountable evidence against Pete Rose he still pleaded his innocence.
Pete Rose was banned from Baseball by outgoing commissioner Peter Ueberroth and replacement Bart Giamatti in 1989 and was therefore placed on Baseball’s Ineligible list. At the time he was banned there was no rule at the Hall of Fame to exclude ineligible players from the Hall. This however was introduced in 1991 and ever since it’s looked less and less likely that Pete Rose will be allowed in.
Pete Rose was banned from Baseball by outgoing commissioner Peter Ueberroth and replacement Bart Giamatti in 1989 and was therefore placed on Baseball’s Ineligible list. At the time he was banned there was no rule at the Hall of Fame to exclude ineligible players from the Hall. This however was introduced in 1991 and ever since it’s looked less and less likely that Pete Rose will be allowed in.

Pete Rose has applied for reinstatement many times since he was banned. In 2003 Bud Selig even considered Rose’s application but took no action. Since then there has been no formal reinstatement request made by Pete and I don’t think his chances of having the decision overturned have improved much.

Pete Rose finally came clean about his gambling problem in his 2004 autobiography, My Prison without Bars. He admitted that he bet on his own team, the Cincinnati Reds, but never to lose. He was quoted saying “I bet on my team to win every night because I loved my team, I believed in my team. I did everything in my power every night to win that game”. Some say the timing was suspect as he did a book tour just after the announcement of the 2004 Hall of Fame inductees.

In 1999 Rose was voted into the All Century team before Game 2 of the World Series at Turner field and in 2002 he got a standing ovation from the crowd at Pac Bell as part of Major League Baseball’s 25 greatest moments. This shows that the public still care that Rose has hit more Baseball’s than anyone in the games history.

It’s a great debate that still goes on today as to whether or not Pete Rose should be allowed into the Hall of Fame. This is a player who played the game as it was meant to be played, hard and passionately. He will always be remembered for his sprints to first base when taking walks and his head first slides into home plate both giving him the nickname “Charlie Hustle”.

However, he broke the rules. He bet on baseball when he knew it wasn’t allowed. He claims he never bet on his team to lose and he’s finally admitted he was wrong, even though it took him 15 years to do so. However it’s only been proved that he bet on baseball as a manager, not as a player, even though it’s widely believed that he did both. Should Pete Rose be punished as a baseball player for a crime he was found guilty of as a manager?

In today’s society with all the steroid allegations, which is the bigger crime? Playing the game hard and being passionate enough about your team that you believed they could never lose. Or using drugs and steroids in the hope of giving yourself an extra chance of being better at a game Pete Rose had a natural ability for.

I say if Pete Rose is forever ineligible from entering the Hall of Fame then the same fate should be bestowed to every player on the Mitchell Report. Most of the players on that report will never even be considered for the Hall, but MLB need to make a decision on their status, just as they did with Pete Rose and those involved in the Black Sox Scandal.

To help you decide whether or not Pete Rose should be in the Hall of Fame, here is a list of some of his achievements.
• Most career hits – 4,256
• Most career games played – 3,562
• Most career at bats – 14,053
• Most career singles – 3,215
• Most career runs by a switch hitter – 2165
• Most career doubles by a switch hitter – 746
• Most career walks by a switch hitter – 1566
• Most career total bases by a switch hitter – 5,752
• Most seasons of 200 or more hits – 10
• Most consecutive seasons of 100 or more hits – 23
• Most consecutive seasons with 600 or more at bats – 13 (1968-1980)
• Most seasons with 600 at bats – 17
• Most seasons with 150 or more games played – 17
• Most seasons with 100 or more games played – 23
• Record for playing in the most winning games – 1,972
• Only player in major league history to play more than 500 games at five different positions – 1B (939), LF (671), 3B (634), 2B (628), RF (595)
• National League records:
• Most years played – 24
• Most consecutive years played – 24
• Most career runs – 2,165
• Most career doubles – 746
• Most career games with 5 or more hits – 10
• Modern (post-1900) record for longest consecutive game hitting streak – 44
• Modern record for most consecutive hitting streaks of 20 or more games – 7

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