#20 Pete Rose

Pete Rose will be 80 years old next year.

Pete broke into major league baseball at the age of 22 and played for another 23 years, until his retirement in 1986. 

Pete Rose is the all-time MLB leader in hits (4,256), games played (3,562), at bats (14,053), singles (3,215), and outs (10,328).

He won two Gold Gloves, and made 17 All-star appearances at 5 different positions.  He won 3 batting titles and three World Series rings.  He was Rookie of the Year in 1963 and was named the National League’s Most Valuable Player in 1973.

His nickname was Charlie Hustle, a dumb name, but he was called that for good reason.  He hustled.  Everywhere.  On ball four, he would run to first base.  That was Pete Rose.  You loved him and you hated him. 

He was likely the best all around baseball player of my generation.  Are you kidding me?  Over 4,000 hits in over 3,500 games.  Named as an all star at 5 different positions?

All of this, and still Pete Rose is not in the Hall of Fame.

After his retirement, Pete Rose became manager for the Cincinnati Reds.

Pete Rose bet nightly on the Red’s baseball games during his tenure as manager.

He might as well have been a murderer.  If he had been convicted of murder he would probably be in the Hall of Fame today.  If you were wondering, yes O.J. Simpson is in both the NCAA College Football Hall of Fame, as well as the NFL Hall of Fame.

It is starting to seem likely that Pete will not gain admittance to the Hall before he dies.  Time is running out.

Obviously, there are many ways to look at this.  Everyone has their opinion.

It is my opinion that Pete Rose was guilty of a crime.  The crime was betting on his team, the team he was managing in 1987.  It was a crime against baseball.  Pete committed the crime 33 years ago.  He has now served 33 years for his extremely poor judgment.  For 33 years he has been banned from baseball.  For 33 years he has been kept from his rightful place in the Hall of Fame.  He has done his time.

We have made an example of Pete Rose.  If you are a player or a manager in professional sports, you can’t be a gambler.  You can’t place bets for or against your own team.  I think Pete’s story is pretty well known.  I think the example has been well made.

I think Pete has done his time.

I think it is time for Professional Baseball to forgive Pete Rose. 

John 8:7 – Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.

Pete Rose was far from perfect.

But as a player, he was the best that baseball had to offer in my generation. 

SSOMG casts their vote for his election.

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