“Baseball Hero-Villain-Love & Hate”
He will be honored in his hometown this weekend, but likely nowhere else.
He has been rebuffed again, on his reinstatement request to baseball, and the request his name be allowed on the Hall of Fame ballot.
The Cincinnati Reds will honor the ‘hit king’, Pete Rose, by unveiling a special statue outside the Great American Ballpark.
Rose will take part in pregame festivities, and has been allowed to be involved in certain Reds promotional functions, as approved by Commissioner Rob Manfred.
But there is no room for him at the Inn, or in the Shrine, the Cooperstown Hall of Fame.
Citing rule “3E”, that no player under suspension by baseball, will ever be allowed on the ballot for the Hall of Fame, his requests have been rejected again.
It was 1989 when Rose was named in the John Dowd report for betting on games, while the manager of the Cincinnati Reds. It was years and years of denial from him, before he turned the corner, and admitted yes he did. It was his unrepenting stance that was as damaging as what he did.
Barred from all things baseball, he became a martyr figure in Cincinnati, where he had led the Reds ‘Big Red Machine’ to back to back World Series wins.
He became a staph infection that would not go away anywhere else in the game.
He would not stay quiet. He would not stop showing up in Cooperstown on baseball’s special weekend, to hawk his pictures, autographed balls and his books.
He would not stay out of casinos.
He would not stop doing cheesey or sleazy ads for betting enterprises.
He never stopped trying for reinstatement to the game, first via Bud Selig, now with Manfred, and finally with the Hall of Fame itself.
His memorabilia is enshrined inside the hallowed halls, but he cannot gain access, unless he buys a ticket.
His playing accomplishments merit all consideration. His personal shortcomings and failures off the field, mean he gets none.
The baseball voters hate cheaters, as witnessed by the Hall of Fame vote tallies for Barry Bonds, Roger Clements, Sammy Sosa and more.
History reminds us the legendary Joe Jackson, with that (.353) average, but stained by the Black Sox scandal, will never ever get in either.
In Cincinnati, he could do no wrong. Thus the honors and the statue this weekend. Everywhere else he did wrong.
Pete Rose, turning 80-years of age, will die in shame. In the court of public opinion, he belongs in the Hall for his player stats. In the court of baseball opinion, MLB, he will forever be condemned for what he did.
The color of the statue is bronze. MLB views the real color as ‘tarnished Red’.
Pete Rose will forever be on the outside looking in, for what he did inside the dugout and manager’s office in Cincinnati. Placing bets. Winning money. Losing his baseball soul.