Pete Rose Sends Letter Again Asking MLB To Drop Ban; Fans Say It’s Time To Forgive
It’s been 33 years since Major League Baseball’s all-time hits leader retired from the game – his 4,256 hits may forever reign in MLB’s annals – but Pete Rose is still not in the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Rose is banned from Major League Baseball for life, which includes not being inducted in the Hall of Fame, because he was caught betting on baseball games during his playing and managerial career with the Cincinnati Reds.
Rose — who during his playing days earned the nickname “Charlie Hustle” — has applied for reinstatement four times, including just two years ago. The league has denied his request each time.
But, still not giving up hope, Rose recently wrote a letter to MLB’s current Commissioner Rob Manfred, asking to him to restore his Hall of Fame eligibility. A widely-circulated copy of the full letter was reportedly first released by TMZ.
“I am asking for your forgiveness. Despite my many mistakes, I am so proud of what I accomplished as a baseball player — I am the Hit King and it is my dream to be considered for the Hall of Fame. Like all of us, I believe in accountability. I am 81 years old and know that I have been held accountable and that I hold myself accountable. I write now to ask for another chance,” Rose said in the letter. “I have apologized many times, both for betting on baseball games while managing the Cincinnati Reds and then for denying that I did,” he wrote. “I am writing today for three reasons. First, because at my age I want to be 100% sure that you understand how much I mean it when I say that I’m sorry. Second, to ask for your forgiveness. And third, because I still think every day about what it would mean to be considered for the Hall of Fame.”
Said Rose: “It is among my greatest regrets that I let down fans who believed in me and who love baseball.”
Rose was slapped with permanent ineligibility in 1989 by then-commissioner A. Bartlett Giamatti. He denied the betting claims for years but in 2004 finally admitted to betting on baseball and Reds games.
Perhaps in an ironically sad twist, the Reds plan to open a BetMGM sportsbook in Great American Ball Park next year.
Jim Park, 50, an accountant and avid baseball fan who is partial to his hometown Los Angeles Dodgers but says he has good memories of watching Rose play, says it’s time for MLB not to forget, but forgive Rose for his past indiscretions.
“At least give him the chance to enter the Hall of Fame,” said Park. “It’s been nearly 40 years since he hung up his cleats, and still nobody’s come close to matching what he did on the field.I really think the lesson’s been taught, so if Rose still isn’t given the chance to enter the Hall of Fame, I think it’s just vindictiveness on MLB’s part, plain and simple.”
Harry Wahlen, a retired computer repairman — and a relatively new but enthused Seattle Mariners fan, even though he lives in Southern California — admitted he lost a lot of respect for Rose when the allegations of his betting were made public and would “completely understand” if MLB continues to keep the ban against Rose in place.
Then again, he said philosophically, “when you look at everything happening in our country right now, all the anger and violence, all of the lack of caring for each other, what kind of message are we sending to our youth? Aren’t Americans supposed to be a forgiving people?”