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Does Pete Rose belong in baseball's Hall of Fame?

BY DI STAFF | JULY 28, 2015 5:00 AM

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Yes

Pete Rose is without a doubt one of the all-time greats.  He holds major league records for games (3,215), at-bats (14,053), hits (4,256), and singles (3,215).  Rose also was awarded a Gold Glove for his defense as a left fielder. He was a premier player for the Cincinnati Reds during the “Big Red Machine Era” in the 1970s. 

Despite his incredible career, in which he beat the Hall of Famer Ty Cobb’s hit record, in 1989 Rose was banned indefinitely from Major League Baseball.

He was accused and then found guilty of gambling while coaching for the Reds in 1986 in the “Dowd Report.”  This ban not only includes his eligibility to coach in the major leagues, it also takes away his eligibility of being inducted to the Hall of Fame. 

But Rose has served his time in exile from MLB.  Not recognizing a player of that caliber who did not take performance-enhancing drugs but simply gambled on his team along with other major-league games that he had no part of seems extensive. 

Rose never threw a game, and he has the stats and the reputation to prove it.  He was given the nickname “Charlie Hustle” when he first entered the league because he always ran to first base even if he got walked. 

There is also a parallel between the  Rose gambling scandal and Shoeless Joe Jackson, who was also banned from the majors after allegedly being involved in the 1919 throwing of the World Series by the Chicago White Sox (the Black Sox). Jackson is seen as an all-time great, and yet the MLB still won’t recognize him as one nearly 100 years later.

Rose served his time and has been out of professional baseball for 26 years. His career statistics as a batter and as an outstanding defensive player in left field, right field, first base, second base, and third base prove that he was and should be in the Hall of Fame. 

— by Rod Engblom

No

In April, Pete Rose was a guest on Michael Kay’s ESPN radio show and repeated his denial, stating: “Never bet as a player: That’s a fact.”

It’s clear to me that Rose will never understand the magnitude of his actions, which is my first argument of why he deserves no one’s sympathy and is light years away from being inducted into baseball’s Hall of Fame. 

According to the rules of Major League Baseball, he clearly violated rule 21(d): Any player, umpire, club, league official, or employee who shall bet any sum whatsoever upon any baseball game in connection with which the bettor has a duty to perform shall be declared permanently ineligible.
This rule is put in place to preserve the integrity of the game.

That alone is enough reason for anyone who cares values the integrity of any sport, but I will continue. 

Rose has insisted for 26 years he has never gambled as a player. It wasn’t until 2004 that he finally admitted he had placed bets on games but only as a manager. Recently released documents show that he did in fact bet as a player in 1986.

Rose gambled, he lied, then he lied some more, and now he looks pathetic.

Well-done, Rose. Some role model you are for young athletes.

Maybe if he used his past wrongdoing to teach young kinds a lesson instead of signing autographs for gift shops in Las Vegas, I would have more sympathy for him. 

There are a lot of arguments for his admission to the Hall of Fame, and yes, there are other players and cheaters with their names in the hall.

It does’t matter if he only bet on his team to win, it sounds gushy, but gambling whether it’s winning or losing is a jab at the heart of the game.

His contributions cannot be denied, but Rose’s record 4, 256 hits during his career doesn’t make him higher than the law.

— by Erin Erickson


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