Pete Rose is brought up every time the Hall of Fame inducts new members, since Pete Rose is still banned from getting in himself. Pete Rose will have been banned for 20 years after next month, as the debate over whether Pete Rose should stay banned from baseball continues to rage. 20 years after he was banished by Bart Giamatti, Bud Selig now has to wrestle with Rose’s eligibility. And according to new reports, Selig may be seriously considering letting Pete Rose back in.
The New York Daily News first broke rumors that Bud Selig is now considering lifting Pete Rose’s lifetime banishment. The story indicates that Selig is thinking it over after an interview Hank Aaron gave on Saturday, when Aaron said Rose should be allowed into the Hall of Fame – though he said steroid users should have an asterisk.
The only one who is truly benefiting from the steroid era – other than Jose Canseco when he writes a book about it – is Pete Rose. When Rose was banned for life due to gambling, it was the worse scandal possible for baseball back then. But the steroid era has knocked the Pete Rose banishment down a peg or two in the rankings of worst baseball scandals.
The Hall of Fame will soon judge whether the most controversial steroid users of this era should be inducted into its hallowed grounds. When that happens, there will be a giant microscope over what the Hall will do, and if they will let any steroid user into Cooperstown. But whereas the steroid users will be under consideration, Pete Rose is a different matter.
The only votes Pete Rose is eligible to get for the Hall of Fame is write-in votes, due to his lifetime suspension. That is why the question of reinstatement still persists, since if Selig ever lifted the ban, Rose would be officially eligible to be voted in by the Veterans Committee.
Given Rose’s legendary status on the field, he would get in if the Veterans could overlook the gambling issues. With Aaron’s endorsement of Rose this weekend, Selig, a close friend of Aaron’s, may have been moved into letting the Veterans decide the issue.
Further sources allege that Selig would first likely make Rose apologize again for his crimes, while still banning him from managing.
If Pete Rose became official eligible for the Hall of Fame, the timing would certainly be suspicious. Basically, letting the Veterans decide over whether Rose should get in, despite his off-field sins, would be a test run for when the Hall has to judge those from the steroid era.
So in the oncoming controversy to come over the Hall of Fame, Pete Rose would be batting in the leadoff position if his 20-year ban is to end.
New York Daily News- “MLB commissioner Bud Selig mulling pardon for hit king Pete Rose” www.nydailynews.com/sports/baseball/2009/07/27/2009-07-27_pete_rose.html
MLB.com- “Daily News – Rose eligibility under review” mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp