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COMMENTARY: For Pete’s sake, induct him into the Hall of Fame

I was spellbound and glued to the radio whenever the Los Angeles Dodgers and Cincinnati Reds played in the 1970s and Pete Rose would come to bat. I hated Rose back then. You just knew when he came up to bat you had to hold your breath because odds were he was about to ruin your day. Especially if you were a die-hard Dodger fan like myself. He always came up and got a hit.

Back then those were the two teams to beat in the National League West. I remember my mother would tell me to go to bed and I would go willingly because I would switch on the Dodgers and listen to the game.

Of course whenever Pete Rose would come up to bat I would boo regardless if I was in bed or sitting in front of the family TV. Rose played for 24 years from 1962 until 1986 for the Reds.

I don’t hate Rose anymore, but respect him. After all, he has numerous major league records. The most important one that has withstood time (29 years) is the record for the most base hits in a career, 4,256 hits, which beat out Ty Cobb, who had 4,189. Both players played for 24 years.

I am not sure what baseball is doing. Are they trying to punish Pete Rose and don’t believe a 30-year ban is enough? The man is not getting any younger at 74 and I would hate for them to put him into the Hall of Fame posthumously.

I understand what he did was wrong. And I understand that many players and coaches in sports never get harsh sentences. But that is my point. I believe what Pete received was a bit harsh.

He bet on baseball, I get that. But it’s not like he threw the World Series like the Black Sox 8.

The Major League baseball commissioner, Rob Manfred, denied Rose’s request for reinstatement saying, “In short, Mr. Rose has not presented credible evidence of a reconfigured life either by an honest acceptance by him of his wrongdoing, or by a rigorous, self-aware and sustained program of avoidance by him of all the circumstances that led to his permanent ineligibility in 1989.”

So what, Rose still bets on baseball, big deal. For this you will deny him the hall? He is not running for sainthood. Shoot, in football they’ve got a murderer, OJ Simpson … and if you believe he is innocent of that crime, well then he is a crook, for he is serving a sentence for armed robbery and kidnapping here in Nevada.

Hmm, football has guys slugging their wives and sports in general has a problem with alcoholism and drugs, and baseball is worried about betting on games?

The short of this is Rose will not be a saint, but for “Pete’s sake” induct him to the hall for his accomplishments on the field.

Life throws us many punches and we sometimes make bad choices. Rose understands he did do something wrong, which is big in my book, because I feel many athletes when they beat up their wives or children really don’t understand they did wrong.

Rose knew it, and says he blew it and is remorseful. A ban for life is too much and doesn’t fit the crime.

Rose has done too much for the game of baseball to let a slip like gambling ruin his 24 years.

I really don’t think in this day and age that they make baseball players like Rose anymore. After all he was a switch hitter, played five positions and won numerous golden glove awards and batting championships. I don’t think we’ll ever see another player like him and they want to deny him the Hall of Fame? Shame on them.

-Contact sports editor Vern Hee at vhee@pvtimes.com

 

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