Pete Rose should be enshrined in Cooperstown



Baseball legend Pete Rose attends the Miami Heat game against the Charlotte Bobcats at the American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida, Friday, November 19, 2010. The Heat defeated the Bobcats, 95-87. (Pedro Portal/El Nuevo Herald/MCT)

Steven Cole

It has been more than 25 years since Pete Rose was banished from professional baseball for betting on the game. During that time, Major League Baseball has employed four different commissioners: Bart Giamatti, who originally declared Rose ineligible from baseball in 1989; Fay Vincent and Bud Selig, respectively, whom, after numerous overtures, failed to reinstate Rose; and, now Rob Manfred, who succeeded Selig on January 25, 2015.Since taking office as baseball’s newest commissioner, Manfred has been noncommittal regarding the question that is Rose, saying “I have no predisposition with respect to the issue of whether or not he [Rose] be reinstated.”

While Commissioner Manfred has yet to reach a decision concerning Rose’s eligibility, it would be in his and MLB’s best interest to reinstate Pete Rose. Such action would allow Rose to be considered for the baseball Hall of Fame – and he deserves as much.Simply, you cannot write the history of the game without Rose. His accomplishments are impressive, if not unparalleled. Rose is a 17-time All-Star, three-time National League batting champion, National League Most Valuable Player, World Series Most Valuable Player, former National League Rookie of the Year, owns two Gold Gloves and is a member of three world champions. Further, Rose owns numerous statistical records, including most hits (4,256) and singles (3,215) in a career.Yes, Rose bet on baseball. However, he bet on baseball as a manager, not as a player. Allegedly, Rose, as a manager, never bet on his team to lose – he always bet on them to win. It is as a player that Rose will be considered for the Hall of Fame. Undisputedly, his numbers and accolades as a player suggest he is deserving of such recognition.Yes, Rose’s banishment and following attempts to be reinstated have been well-chronicled and publicized for the worst. Yes, his image has been tarnished and his name is mud. However, whether or not a player stands on the moral high ground is not a criterion for the Hall of Fame, as illustrated by the enshrinement of countless former players, such as Ty Cobb.

At the end of the day, Rob Manfred ought to do what those before him did not do: reinstate Pete Rose. Subsequently, Rose should be enshrined in baseball immortality as a member of the Hall of Fame. His numbers speak for themselves. And while Rose’s detractors point to his illicit gambling as the primary reason for keeping Rose out, it is simultaneously the best reason, outside of his numbers, for placing him in Cooperstown. After all, the baseball Hall of Fame is a museum where objects of permanent value, relative to the game, are kept on display and commemorated. Is Rose not a person of timeless influence to the game of baseball?