Pete Rose & the Hall of Fame

This weeks Sports Illustrated has some articles on how to “fix” baseball and Frank Deford has a piece in which he says that Pete Rose should be allowed into the Hall of Fame because if he is then everyone will forget about him. Deford sort of argues that since Pete isn’t in the hall that he draws attention away from the game and it isn’t exactly good attention.

Deford then goes on to say that while Rose did bet on baseball games, including his own tema, he only did it while he was managing the Reds.

Oh gee, that makes it okay then.
Fuck no, it doesn’t!!!

Then Deford brings up Paul Horning, who along with Alex Karras was suspended by Pete Rozell for one year for gambling on NFL games back in the early-mid 1960’s.

Deford basically says, if Paul Horning gambled and he is in the Hall of Fame, why isn’t Rose?

Well, Horning admitted that yes, he did in fact bet on NFL games and expressed regret/said it was a stupid thing to do.

Rose has never even come close to even **admitting ** that he had/has a gambling problem, let alone that he bet on baseball games.

My view is this, if Rose will admit that he did in fact bet on baseball games and apologize, then he should get into the Hall.

If he doesn’t, forget about it.

Rose still thinks he is bigger then the game.

He isn’t.

He never was.


Oh, if this is the inappropriate forum, will a mod please move it?


Off the field, Ty Cobb was a mysoginist, racist, no good son of a bitch.

Babe Ruth was a racist and an alcoholic.

Pete Rose <gasp!> bet on baseball games.

Cobb and Ruth are in the Hall of Fame, but Rose isn’t. Makes sense to me. :rolleyes:


I’m of two minds about Rose:

  1. Despite Bill James’ best efforts to the contrary, I still believe he bet on MLB, bet on his team. If that’s true, I don’t care if he apologizes, I wouldn’t want him reinstated, wouldn’t want him in the HoF.

  2. I find the whining over Rose absolutely insufferable. If he were to apologize for his actions and he still wasn’t eligible, the whining would be completely unbearable. At that point, I’d just give in for expediency and comfort, and say let him in. The world would go on.

You’re welcome.

Meaning, of course, to the Powers-That-Be at the HoF, being a drunk and hating “niggers” is OK, just as long as you “protect the integrity of the game” by not gambling on it.


I haven’t considered this question at any great length in the past, but did sort of come down on the side of not letting him in whenever it came up. But then someone, I forgot who, suggested that players may be voted into the HoF as players when appropriate, and as managers also. Obviously there is no baseball player alive (or dead) who deserves to be in the HoF more than Pete Rose, if you don’t consider his history after his playing days. Oh, and the idea of baseball trying to be the moral arbiter in the case of Pete Rose, when you consider what others have been able to get away with, is ridiculous.

Vote him in!

As far as I know Pete Rose bet on his team to win. Why is that a bad thing?

IIRC, the rules of baseball state that anyone who bets on baseball is forever barred from the HOF. (Period) I do not believe there is any wiggle room to this rule. I have read and heard that all MLB rookies are counseled on such and that this rule is even posted in every MLB locker room. Every MLB player knows this rule and is obliged to obey it or pay the consequences whether or not he approves of the rule.

It could be argued that this rule is excessive or no longer appropriate, but until MLB changes the rule on betting, the rule stands. IMHO, it would be a sham to overturn this rule retroactively to make Pete Rose elgible for the HOF.

First, because the rules state that no one in MLB can bet on baseball, period.

If we can ignore that betting is prohibited, it is known from the investigation that Rose did not bet on all of his team’s games. Therefore, a bookie who knows Rose is not betting that night knows that Rose feels his team is even or at a disadvantage. MLB does not want bookies to have unfair insider info, whether it makes sense or not.

Beyond that, if Rose has money on the game, it may force him to employ strategies that will win that one game but be at a disadvantage the next few games and lose sight of the big picture.

Example, Rose puts big money on a few games in a row and decides to take no chances with the pitching. After the fifth, any pitcher who lets a man get to scoring position gets yanked. Rose depletes his whole bullpen to try to win the games he has money on and doesn’t bet the next couple of games while his bullpen gets rocked. Extreme example that tries to illustrate the point of trying to win specific games vs winning as many games as possible.

Being those things are not against the rules of baseball. Betting on baseball and your team are and the punishment is severe. Pete knew this.

It doesn’t matter that Pete did this while managing either. It was in the game. He wasn’t a broadcaster or outsider, he was an MLB participant.

Scenario why even betting on your team to win is bad: Suppose Pete didn’t bet on tonight’s game but has a bet on tomorrow’s game. In tonight’s game he needs a reliever to hold the lead. He’s got one guy who’s really good but decides to save him for tomorrow’s game when he’s got money on it. That’s why it’s wrong. Doesn’t matter if it happens or not, the mere chance of it compromises the integrity of the game and cheats the paying customers of an honest game.

The fact is, Pete has denied gambling on baseball but has said sorry and admitted to making mistakes and has claimed to have paid a price. What mistakes? What price? Yes he went to jail but those were for issues unrelated to the baseball investigation. He went to jail for income tax evasion. That doesn’t get you banned from baseball for life. “I did nothing wrong and promise not to do it again” is Pete’s argument.

He was accused of something, claimed he didn’t do it, then signs a document agreeing to the maximum punishment. That’s like facing life without parole for murder charges, claiming not to have murdered, then agreeing to life without parole without a trial but still claiming not to murder. What gives? He’s hiding something.

If Pete is allowed into the HOF and back into baseball then we might as well tell our kids that rules don’t matter.

This rallying cry for him epitomizes the victim mentality so rampant in today’s culture. You don’t even have to admit to anything to have people feeling sorry for you.

I’d also like to add that Bill James made some good points in one of his books about this:

People like to throw out examples like Cobb, Ruth, etc. Here’s how that fails.

Having bad breath is no big deal, unless you are a car salesman. You can be fired for that.

Having sex is not against the law, unless you are a priest. You can be fired for that.

Gossiping is generally no big deal, unless you are a therapist. You can be fired for that.

Likewise, every player, coach, and manager signs a contract stating that if you gamble on baseball y ou are banned for one year and if you gamble on your own team you are banned for life. It’s posted very clearly in teh clubhouse and always has been.

Unfortunately, no such rule exists. Fact is, Major League Baseball really doesn’t have any control over who gets voted in.

The Hall of Fame, however, does have some standards. They are what keeps Pete Rose out of the Hall. If those standards were to be waived or changed, as they were for special occasions like Lou Gehrig or Roberto Clemente, then he could get in.

The chances of that, though, are miniscule unless he confesses.

And as far as players being counseled as rookies on HOF eligibility, I doubt it. That’s a bit presumptuous, considering that the chances of making the Hall are remote at best.

This is probably a useless argument but I sometimes wonder what would’ve happened if the revelations about Rose’s gambling had come out more than five years after he played his last game and he had already been elected to the Hall of Fame. Would they have kicked him out?

I hate Rose with a passion…when I was a child, he was the only member of the Expos who would not sign an autograph for me(we stayed at the same hotel in StL).

I was glad he could not get into the HOF when he was initially eligible.

Having said that, it’s time for him to be in. I think eventually he will be in, probably in 5-7yrs.

The veterans committee should elect Shoeless Joe to be inducted the same year that Rose finally gets in.

Rose damaged the integrity of the game far less than the current commissioner has done.

Chiming in to agree with the OP here, and this is from a kid who grew up idolizing the Big Red Machine and admiring the work Charlie Hustle put into the game …

Yep, if he admitted publicly that he had dishonored the game, and asked forgiveness, that would clear it up. But he still avoids the matter whenever it is brought up to him, even when asked why he signed the paper that admitted “sufficient facts”. He is still a degenerate gambler, by all accounts, and until he faces it he’s always going to be the one guy who broke what he knew to be the cardinal rule and paid the price. He’s running out of time to do what needs to be done, and there’s no sign he’s going to.

When my son asks about Rose, I have to explain that there was no better player to use as a role model, but few worse persons.

Yes, I have problems with Ty Cobb and Tris Speaker being in the Hall, having conspired with each other to throw a game once - perhaps they paid their debt to society, er, baseball privately. Shoeless Joe Jackson may not have actively fixed the World Series, but he plainly knew about it and kept quiet - and that’s enough for me.

Likewise, putting stuff on your balls is nobody’s business but your own, unless you happen to be a pitcher. Gaylord Perry, however, is in the HOF despite being famous as a spitballer.

Personally, I think the ban should be lifted and the matter put to those who vote on the candidates.

In simplest terms, why should any organization give its highest honor to someone who habitually pisses on it?

Officially, Cobb and Speaker were cleared of any game-fixing charges, although both of them had to leave the team they were player-managers of (Tigers and Indians). They both continued their careers with the Philadelphia A’s.

I would think Rose would have an easier time getting into the HOF than Jackson. Rose has the distinct advantage of being alive and being able to come completely clean with everyone.

All we can do with Jackson is speculate about his guilt or innocence.

I sincerely doubt the HOF would induct both Rose and Jackson in the same year. That would be far too controversial. And right now, Rose is more famous because he is NOT in the HOF. If he were, he would just be another old baseball player. I doubt he would be managing anywhere. He had not shown any particular aptitude for it during his time with the Reds. The Reds were good, but not great.

Once Rose was gone, Lou Piniella eventually took over and then the Reds won the World Series.

Because the Football Hall specifically says you only consider what happened between the lines. They do NOT have a character clause. This came up for some discussion when druggie Lawrence Taylor came up. IMO if there was a character clause, I could leave him off the ballot. There isn’t. He’s in. OJ is still in. Well, he was acquitted in criminal court? So were the Black Sox.

Baseball was always harder on gambling, with notices posted in the clubhouses. Durocher was suspended for 1947 for ASSOCIATING with gamblers. Not gambling. Associating.


Recall they were elected in 1936. Racism was far more accepted then. You don’t think a Rocker would have a lot more problems than they had, even if he was good enough?


Because as a manager he had control of the players under him. Suppose he had a big bet on the game. His closer, say, Dibble, has pitched 3 days in a row. Rose knows he should rest, but he has his money on the game. Rose puts him in, and he hurts his arm. Damages, if not ends, his career.

Also, if he falls into debt with the gamblers, maybe he DOES throw a game.

I also agree with ** Lorenzo **, the rule was in place when he came in. He knew it. He is not above the rules.


They might have. They are hardline on gambling. There is precedent for someone being kicked out of a Hall of Fame. Alan Eagleson, fraud, was kicked out of the NHL hall.

The National Baseball Hall of Fame on Pete Rose and Shoeless Joe: