Pete Rose is never getting into baseball’s Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y.
I hate to be the bearer of bad news the same week the Cincinnati Reds are set to unveil a statue of the Hit King outside Great American Ball Park, but it trickled out this week thanks to the Los Angeles Times:
In response to a request from Rose to lift the ban, the Hall of Fame’s board of directors voted in December to affirm the rule that keeps anyone “deemed permanently ineligible by Major League Baseball, including Pete Rose,” from consideration for Cooperstown.
That decision was not made public until now, after a Los Angeles Times inquiry about the request Rose made last September.
In a sure sign they are not proud of it, the Hall of Fame’s board of directors apparently didn’t think promoting this sure-to-be controversial decision needed to be announced. That is despite it coming in response to a highly publicized letter from lawyers representing Rose last September.
In that letter, they argued he should be put on the Hall of Fame ballot so writers could consider his case.
In so doing, they cited language MLB commissioner Rob Manfred used while denying his latest bid for reinstatement.
»HAL MCCOY: Emotional Rose inducted into Reds Hall of Fame
In short, Manfred pointed out National Baseball Hall of Fame eligibility is not determined by MLB, so that part wasn’t up to him.
Now the HOF board has made its decision.
Again via the Times:
“The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum’s Board of Directors met by conference call in December and deliberated the ineligibility clause that is part of the Hall of Fame’s Rules for Election. The Directors discussed the validity of the rule, whether it was still relevant and appropriate, and whether its alteration or removal should be considered.
“After extensive discussion, a vote was taken in which the Board ratified the resolution that was passed on February 4, 1991, known today as Rule 3(E) in the [Baseball Writers’ Assn. of America’s] election rules. As such, anyone deemed permanently ineligible by Major League Baseball, including Pete Rose, may not be considered for election to the Baseball Hall of Fame.”
I guess I can’t blame the HOF for not wanting to tell anyone about this.
It makes no sense, so it would be hard to answer any followup questions.
I don’t know if Pete Rose would be elected if he were eligible, but I also can’t see what it would hurt to give voters the opportunity.
There are already spitballers in Cooperstown, not to mention men whose character off the field was nothing to be proud of.
Soon there will probably be known PED users enshrined, too.
But not Pete Rose.
He will have to continue to settle for the occasional celebration, to be trotted out when it is convenient for the MLB but never any other time.
The severity of his crime isn’t in dispute, but doesn’t it feel like enough is enough?
Apparently not to the only people whose judgement matters.
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