By Adam Dorstewitz
Four thousand, two hundred, fifty-six hits. Consecutive World Series Championships in 1975 and 1976. A National League (NL) Most Valuable Player (MVP) and Rookie of the Year (RoTY) winner. A forty-four game hit streak. Two-time Gold Glove winner, three time NL Batting Champion. This is the biography of Pete Rose according to “Baseball-reference,” a baseball statistics website.
After finishing his playing career, Rose was banned from baseball, for gambling and betting on baseball during his tenure as the manager of the Cincinnati Reds. He was placed on the Ineligible list in 1989, a list of people that cannot re-enter or participate in baseball, including in-person observation of games. In 1991, a rule was instituted that has since been named the “Pete Rose Rule.” It states that those who were on the Ineligible list are then also ineligible to become a part of the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
Rose signed a contract when he was placed on the Ineligible list stating that he understood the consequences of placement on the list, and that he would not request to be reinstated into baseball or excused from the list in any way.
Towards the end of the 2016 baseball regular season, Pete Rose submitted a letter to the Baseball Hall of Fame commission asking for consideration as a candidate, due to the timing of the “Pete Rose” rule and his placement on the Ineligible list. He argues that his stats and his achievements should be in the Hall of Fame, as do many Cincinnati Reds fans and old-school baseball lovers.
Pete Rose should not be let into the Hall of Fame. Yes, the man has a number of statistics that make him overqualified, but he used his position as a manager for personal gain outside of the realm of what was legal. Rose’s gambling is not allowed in baseball, nor is it legal in all of the United States, excluding a few areas.
A contract is binding, until its term ends. The contract that Rose signed, according to Major League Baseball’s website, states that Rose is permanently ineligible, meaning the contract has no time associated with it. Because of this, Rose has, and should have, no ability to participate in baseball, a game to which he contributed so much.
Rose is a legend within baseball. He is enough of a legend for most any baseball fan to recognize him by one of two names; either Pete Rose, or Charlie Hustle. The moniker of Charlie Hustle was given for Rose’s ability to turn singles into doubles, and because he always played the game at full speed. He was willing to get dirty to make a stop defensively, as evidenced by his Gold Glove awards which are awarded to the best fielder at a position.
If he was in the lineup, the game became a must-see. He is a part of one of the most legendary teams of all time, the Cincinnati Reds of the mid-late ‘70s or they are also known as The Big Red Machine, and Rose has numerous records. Amongst the records in his possession are the record for most baseball games participated in, as well as the most baseball games won as a player. All of this comprises the argument for why Rose should be in the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
Rose was an absolutely incredible baseball player. A head and love for the game matched by few, an energy and skill level combination that is yet to be matched. Many, including himself, argue that he should be allowed into the Hall of Fame. What Charlie Hustle did in baseball is remembered by many.
His crime however, and his punishment, still exist. Pete Rose gambled, which was against the rules in baseball and illegal according to the United States government. His punishment is on paper, with his signature on it saying that he agrees to the punishment set forth. Many want this contract to be removed because of who Pete Rose is in Cincinnati and to baseball fans-a living legend. However, he is yet to be immortalized, and that’s how it should be.