Every year, the Baseball Hall of Fame voting comes around. Every year, it's a chance to debate who should and shouldn't get in and who has been left out.
There are good arguments on each side. Cubs infielders Joe Tinker, Johnny Evers and Frank Chance were inducted together, mainly because of a poem written about the trio that connected them.
Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa, Mark McGwire and Roger Clemens are not in the Hall and its not clear if they ever will be as the poster boys of the Steroid Era. The biggest shame in all of this, however, is Pete Rose, the game's all-time leader in hits. But Rose isn't allowed in because he was accused of betting on games as a player and manager.
Why it's Wrong
The Steroid Era only underlines why it's so wrong that Rose isn't in the Hall of Fame. Those players used drugs to make themselves better on the field, to gain an unfair advantage. Rose didn't. And now he waits for things to change.
“I was dead wrong in everything I did,” Rose told the New York Times over the summer: “I should have fessed up when I was called into the office. But with my age at the time and two young kids, and all of a sudden I was going to lose my job, and I’ve been playing baseball since I was 9 years old — how are my kids going to survive?”
Major League Baseball wants to make it clear that betting is not OK. But the difference between Shoeless Joe Jackson and the Black Sox Scandal and Pete Rose is important.
The Black Sox were accused and convicted of taking money to lose the World Series. Rose bet his own money that his team would win (not lose). He believed in himself. He believed in his team. He also had a gambling problem. He admits most of that, but the fact Rose is still alive and won't admit what he should continues to harm his case for reinstatement.
A Hall will Accept him
While Rose isn't allowed to be in Baseball's Hall of Fame, one Hall of Fame is using Rose as a way to push its opening.
The National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum is set to open in Milwaukee in 2016 and they have a poll on their website where fans can vote if Rose's bobblehead will be inducted as the first one in the Hall.
The voting, which ends on Friday, is lopsided in favor of Rose. If only the real Hall of Fame could make it that simple. But there are still those who don't believe he should be in, because allowing any gambling on games is a slippery slope.