Friday, May 27, 2011

Rose and the Hall of Fame

Pete Rose bared his soul today: He wants to be voted into the Hall of Fame while he can still enjoy it. Makes sense for him. But I don't believe he deserves the honor.

Rose in the 1970s was the living embodiment of baseball and competition. He earned the nickname "Charlie Hustle" through his never-say-die style. (As I wrote yesterday, his collision with Ray Fosse is an iconic play of the era.)

Rose was aware of the game's history and his 44-game hitting streak and march to overtake Ty Cobb's all-time hits record were riveting. Some may have found him arrogant, but nobody could deny that he was always exciting, doing anything to win.

Then came his fall from grace. While manager of the Cincinnati Reds he was accused of betting on his team's games. He may have always bet on his team to win, but the rule on this was always clear. It was even posted in clubhouses for all to see. No gambling on baseball. Period.

That's why it was such a shock. Pete Rose knew the history of the game. How could he have violated such a well-known rule? It's clear he needed the action. His lust (or addiction) for it got him in trouble.

It's a shame. But I would never vote him into the Hall. Rose broke baseball's cardinal rule. The story of the 1919 Black Sox has been told over and over as warning. Rose knew all about it.

Remember his greatness and a player. Don't forget his accomplishments. But don't enshrine him in the Hall of Fame.

1 comment:

  1. Forget the Hall of Fame, most memorable moment was the fight with Buddy Harrelson!

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