Pete Rose is the all-time Major League leader in hits (4,256), games played (3,562), at-bats (14,053), and outs (10,328). A three-time World Series winner along with three batting titles, one MVP, two Gold Gloves, Rookie of the Year, and an incredible 18-time All-Star; is not in the Baseball Hall of Fame at Cooperstown. Considered to be one of the biggest debates in all of baseball, Pete Rose was banned from baseball in 1989 on accusations that he was gambling on baseball games when he was playing for and managing the Cincinnati Reds. Although accused of and never proven, many people at the time believed he bet on games he was a part of, which wiould have a significant impact on the results of the game since he played and managed the team. Two years later, the executives of the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown had voted to ban those on the “permanently ineligible” list from being able to be inducted into the Hall. Although they had followed this rule before, more as an “unwritten rule,” they believed that Rose’s premier status as a player had forced them to take action. Rose is the only person that is alive on the “permanently ineligible” list, making people believe that he was the sole reason why the Hall implemented this rule.
In 2004, after years of public denial, Rose admitted to betting on baseball. In his autobiography My Prison Without Bars, Rose admitted that he also bet on the Reds, but never against them. Betting records had shown that Rose was telling the truth and never betted against his team. So from an ethical standpoint, how do you view Pete Rose? As an athlete, he was one of the best ever to play the game. He had a long career and broke many records. I respect him as an athlete and as player-manager, that is even more impressive. I’ve gambled before, on cards, on games, but I’ve never had the opportunity to bet on one of my games because I’ve never played on that kind of level. Yes, he bet on baseball and on his team, but never against his team where he could control the odds. By betting on his team, it changed nothing. He managed his team to win every game, so since he bet on his own team, he was still pushing to win, maybe even harder. With that, he had a duty to his team to win as much as possible, which is what you want in a player and a manager. As long as he never bet against his team, I can’t see him at fault. I feel with Pete Rose, he will one day make it into the Hall of Fame. Guaranteed first ballot once reinstated, but unfortunately, I feel he won’t be reinstated until after his death, which is a shame.