Something happened on August 23, 1989.
Major League Baseball Commissioner Bart Giamatti banned Pete Rose from baseball for life.
He did this because Rose bet on baseball. Specifically, he bet on the team he managed and played for (The Cincinnati Reds) to win.
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Gambling while still associating with sports teams in a no-no. We all know that. Regardless, I firmly believe Pete Rose belongs in the Hall of Fame. Period. End point. Without question.
Pete "Charlie Hustle" Rose amassed more base hits than any player in major league history with 4,256. He played in a staggering 3,562 games and stepped to the plate over 14,000 times. In his sterling career, he was Rookie of the Year, won the gold glove award multiple times, was M.V.P., was the Clemente award winner and won the Silver Slugger award. These are just the biggies.
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According to legend, the man would hit so many baseballs during practice that his hands bled. He hit baseball after baseball day in and day out in the cages with a dedication that few have shown in the history of sport.
And we have banned him. I am saying today that this needs to change. We live in an era where athletes commit unspeakable acts. They are forgiven time after time. We have seen murder, domestic abuse, substance abuse, drug trafficking, and beyond. We have become ultra violent and hypocritical.
Might I add that it is very likely that Mr. Rose did NOT use steroids? How about that for a statistic? Try finding a guy that is eligible for the Hall over the last twenty five years that can say that with a straight face.
Time to change
We have forgiven wife batterers. We have forgiven drug users and smugglers. We need to forgive Pete. Nobody is saying that the man deserves to go to the Hall of Fame for what he did as a manager. The time has come for us to properly recognize one of the greatest hitters that ever lived.
All of this said, I appeal to the Commissioner of Major League Baseball. What do you say Rob Manfred? You haven't been in office long, but what a way to start things off the right way.
Mr. Rose has suffered enough. He's paid his his debt of shame and he has admitted his wrong doings and apologized. That's good enough for me. You're alright in my book Pete.