The Shunned Legend

February 21, 2008
What makes a professional baseball player worthy of the Hall-of-Fame? Is it breaking records? How about winning championships? Is it obliterating all other competitors? Well what if someone had done everything imaginable to be deserving of a in the Hall and been locked out? This would be the story of Pete Rose.
Peter Edward Rose was born April 14, 1941. Pete played professional baseball from 1963-1986. He is most widely known for his many years with the Cincinnati Reds. Rose began managing in 1985 and was permanently banned from baseball in 1989. What did he do? He did not take steroids. He did not make his pitchers doctor the ball. He did not bet against his team and then coach to lose. He did not changed the outcome of the game in any way, shape, or form. He merely bet for his team to win.
Pete Rose, the player, has more career hits than any other player in the history of the game (4,256). He has won three batting titles,, two Gold Gloves, one Most Valuable Player award, three World Series rings, and the Rookie of the Year award. If that wasn’t enough to get into the Hall-of-Fame, then his seventeen All-star appearances at an unparalleled five different positions should be. Surely a man who exemplifies near perfection in every aspect of the game deserves a place in the Hall-of-Fame. However, the doors are still not open for him.
Pete Rose, the player, never gambled, never stood out for anything but playing at the absolute highest level. He retired as one of the most respected, most dominant figures in the game. But Pete Rose, the manager, did break the rules. No one believes that Pete Rose, the manager, should be in the Hall. Even though he led the Reds to 4 consecutive 2nd place finishes with a managing record of 426 wins and 388. If Pete Rose, the manager, hadn’t made a mistake no one would argue that Pete Rose, the player, should not be in the Hall-of-Fame.
In today’s game it is hard to find a player NOT on some kind of performance enhancing drug. The recent releasing of the Mitchell Report links some of today’s, and yesterday’s top players, like Roger Clemens and Andy Petite, with steroid use. It would be ridiculous to even consider any one of them for a place in the hall without immediately giving Rose a one-way ticket to Cooperstown. These men allegedly changed the outcome of the game. They allegedly knowingly cheated, giving themselves the competitive edge, illegally.
Ban Pete Rose, the manager, from baseball forever, even if he didn’t cheat or change any Major League game. Pete Rose, the manager, gambled on baseball, and that is illegal. But give Pete Rose, the player, the place in the Hall-of-Fame which he rightly deserves.

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