The Baseball Hall of Fame drew a lot of attention this week as no one was voted into the class of 2103 — just the eighth time sine voting began in 1936 that no one received the required 75 percent of votes to be inducted.
A lot has been made about Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa and Roger Clemens — all of whom have been linked to steroid use — not being voted into the Hall of Fame despite their strong credentials. There’s also been talk about Craig Biggio and Mike Piazza, two of their generation’s best players, not making it.
Of those five, Biggio was the closest to making it this year, receiving 388 votes (68.2 percent). Clemens received 214 (37.6 percent), Bonds received 206 (36.2 percent), and Sosa received 71 (12.5 percent) of the vote.
Aaron Sele also received quite a bit of attention this week as he received one vote.
All of those guys and their vote totals are interesting. But there’s one player who is just as controversial even though he wasn’t on the ballot. And even though he wasn’t on the ballot, he still received four votes.
That other controversial player, the one who received four write-in votes, of course is Pete Rose.
The former Cincinnati Reds player and manager is baseball’s career hits king, having 4,256 over the course of his 24-year playing career. Rose would seem like an obvious choice for the Hall of Fame, if he was allowed in.
Rose was caught betting on baseball, one of the biggest sins someone in the sport can make. Rose accepted a permanent ban from baseball in 1989, even though he denied the allegations for years, and thus cannot be a part of the game including playing, managing, owning or being elected to the Hall of Fame.
I think that’s an injustice.
By the time Rose started betting on baseball, he had retired from playing. He was the Reds’ manager at the time.
The way I see it, banning Rose from managing again is justified. He hurt the integrity of the game by betting on it and probably doesn’t deserve another chance.
However, his playing career should be viewed separately from his managing career.
Rose was one of the greatest players of all time, and his gambling doesn’t affect that. What he did post-playing career shouldn’t diminish his on-the-field accomplishments.
As long as Bud Selig is baseball’s commissioner, Rose probably won’t get a chance to be enshrined in the Hall of Fame. But he should.
Rose had one of the best careers in baseball history. His actions after retirement tarnished his legacy but shouldn’t preclude him for being recognized for his achievements.
Pete Rose deserves to be in the Hall of Fame.
Kyle Shaner is the sports editor for the Daily Advocate. He can be reached at email@example.com.