astorian, a similar plan has been suggested by Bob Costas, who loves the game of baseball with all his heart. Costas’ idea was to put Pete in the hall, and at the bottom of his plaque in 2-inch letters it would read “Banned for life for gambling.”
Now, I am a baseball fan who doesn’t want to see Pete Rose in the Hall of Fame (more on this below), but I think Costas’ idea has merit, and he is such an intelligent, well-informed, reasonable guy, he could sway me.
Now, back to lifetime bans for gambling. Yes, Joe Jackson took money to throw the series, along with 7 of his teammates. At the time, gambling was a huge part of baseball. Gamblers actually rode the trains with the teams from city to city, like reporters. But no-one had ever been proved to throw a World Series before.
Joe Jackson may not have understood what he was agreeing to, and he sure as hell didn’t know what he was signing when he signed his “confession” later, because he was illiterate. It has been pretty well established that he played a hell of a series as well.
When Kennesaw Mountain Landis became commissioner, he banned the 8 players for life, even though they had been found not guilty in a criminal proceeding, because he knew they did it! The lifetime ban was meant to insure that there would never be any question about the propriety of gambling on the game. In fact, the ban extends to not only betting on baseball, but also to consorting with those who do.
There is a current movement headed by Ted Williams to reinstate Joe Jackson and induct him. I think they should, as a lifetime ban would seem to end with the player’s death.
Now, back to Pete Rose. For the last 90 years or so, everyone who is even vaguely familiar with baseball knows about the ban on betting. My grandpa knew it, my dad knew it, I know it, and you can be damn sure Pete Rose knew it. Now, if Pete were to come correct and take responsibility for his actions, Bud Selig MIGHT reconsider, but it’s my guess he wouldn’t lift the ban. That would be for the next commissioner to decide.
Yes, there are some pretty unsavory characters in the Baseball Hall of Fame- racists, alcoholics, drug addicts, thugs, even murderers (allegedly). Baseball is pretty lenient when it comes to personal behavior. You can lie, cheat, steal, drink, drug, beat your wife, whatever- the ONLY thing you can’t do is bet on the game, or associate with those who do.
Did Pete hurt the game? Probably, at least in the mind of the paying public. Could he have destroyed the game? Absolutely. If he is betting on his own team to win, that’s one thing. But on the days that he doesn’t bet on his own team to win, it’s like betting on them to lose. When I’m not at work I’ll try to explain it at greater length.
I do not believe that Pete Rose is a sick man, like a gambling addict. Or at least if he is, he is not in any kind of recovery program for his problem, because a huge part of recovery is taking responsibility for one’s own actions. Pete Rose will never clean up his side of the street, because he has convinced himself he has done nothing wrong. I have read quite a bit that suggests he is dead wrong.
I am a huge baseball fan. Maybe that’s why the guy pisses me off so badly.