The announcement that Pete Rose would be inducted into the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame came out of nowhere. It makes sense. It’s the right thing to do. And it was led by Reds Owner Bob Castellini.

Castellini sometimes let’s his loyalty to those who work for him betray him. But he’s always had his finger on the pulse of Reds fans. He knows this is what most Cincinnati Reds fans want.

Everyone admits the numbers are there for Rose’s admission into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. That aside, his presence in the Reds Hall of Fame is certainly a no-brainer. You know the numbers– 4,256 hits, the MVP Award in 1973, the nine 200-hit seasons, the 13 seasons where he batted over .300, 13 All-Star appearances and a .321 batting average in 67 post season games.

I fully understand there’s a segment of Reds fans who will never forgive Pete Rose for his gambling on baseball. This article isn’t written to try and change your mind. Rather, I write it to show how the Reds are honoring one of their all-time greats for accomplishments between the white lines and doing it while Pete Rose is still alive.

I’ve been to several baseball team Hall of Fames over the years. All of them are good. None of them are equal to what we have in Cincinnati. The Reds Hall of Fame is a stand-alone structure, rich in history as the oldest baseball franchise should be.

Rose’s fingerprints are all over the Hall down by the Ohio River. How can you miss the 4,256 baseballs representing each of his hits? Or his contributions to the Big Red Machine? Or how he complied with Sparky Anderson’s request to move from left field to third base in May 1975?  That move got George Foster in the lineup and cemented back to back World Championships in 1975 and 1976.

Castellini and the Reds will do this right. (I have much more confidence in them doing this right than what we will face in 2016 on the field). Rose’s #14 will be retired, as it should. And there will be a statue of Rose at Great American Ballpark as there already are for Johnny Bench and Joe Morgan and next year, Tony Perez. Rose’s inclusion in the Reds Hall of Fame cements that all of the “Great Eight” will be included.

It would also be nice to see Pete Rose by the batting cage at GABP and in the clubhouse. That would be a positive thing. Who are young hitters for the Reds going to listen to? Guys like Brooke Jacoby and Don Long? Or Pete Rose? You tell me.

That’s nothing against Jacoby or Long. And I’m not advocating usurping a hitting coach’s authority; but there’s simply nothing wrong with a guy like Pete Rose teaching a younger kid a few things. Pete Rose faced the stare of Bob Gibson, the crackling fastball of Sandy Koufax, the high leg kick of Juan Marichal, the inside fastball of Don Drysdale and legends like Tom Seaver, Nolan Ryan and Catfish Hunter.

During the press conference at the Reds Hall of Fame, Bob Castellini was asked “Why now?” regarding the selection of Rose to the Reds HOF.

Castellini’s simple reply was, “Why not?”

He was given the green light by MLB. He moved on it. Good for him, good for Pete Rose and this is a big win for Cincinnati Reds fans.

A major piece of history for the Cincinnati Reds was absent for years. This completes it. Castellini’s actions are a credit to himself and the Reds organization.

John lives in Galesburg, Illinois and has been a Reds fan all of his life. He is a retired firefighter and a Veteran who served for 32 years but stays active at the local Humane Society. His favorite Reds players include Frank Robinson, Vada Pinson, Tony Perez, Eric Davis, and Bronson Arroyo. While writing, he frequently listens to the music of Led Zeppelin and Steely Dan. He is flanked in the photo by ever-loyal “Reptar.”

Join the conversation! 53 Comments

  1. While I am one of the people who believe Pete should not be in the HOF. I think it hurts no one by having him in the Reds HOF>

  2. Why now?

    Because now it’s clear that Pete dug himself into such a deep hole that he’ll never get out of it, and only the older people of Cincinnati will forgive him for lying to them and making fools of them for decades…

    • Not sure how you define older? I’m 42. Does that make me older? If so, disregard the rest of this post.

      I am able to forgive or look past the things Pete did and the lies he told. Of course he lied. What was he supposed to do? Anyone who had an addiction to gambling to the level Pete does would lie about it. I’m not perfect, either. I’ve made mistakes. Pete’s are just much more public. I’ve got no desire to live in a glass house and I can remember all the good about Pete along with the bad.

      If that makes me a fool, then I am okay with that.

    • It is true that Pete Rose lied to the fans about his addiction. But let’s take a step back. Every single day, the politicians that you and I vote into office lie to their constituents. Yet when it comes election day, we vote them right back into office. What is the bigger sin? If lying is such a sin with you, why do you continue to vote these same liars back into office?

      • Because other guys are bad means my guy isn’t as bad, is a terrible, terrible rebuttal.

        And how do you know who RFM votes for, or if he/she even votes at all?

    • I am older. I am old enough to understand work ethic that Rose had. I am old enough to understand overachieving which Rose did. Pete Rose had some talent but mostly he had want to and that is something us older people appreciate because it isn’t in todays game or in todays youth. Baseball more than any other sport is about nostalgia and yes us older folks that watched Pete play the game are nostalgic because we understand his achievements were by hard work more than talent. This is opinion rather than proof, there are players that played before him that have tarnish on their halos. There are a lot more players after him that flat out cheated for gain that haven’t been caught or mentioned. I am disappointed because the all time hits leader will never be in the HOF but he broke the rules and for that he had a price to pay. I am not defending his actions but if anybody who thinks Rose took a play off or tanked a play or didn’t put the best lineup he could on the field never watched the man play the game.

  3. I had a long post in mind explaining why I think Pete Rose belongs in the Reds Hall of Fame and the MLB Hall of Fame. But I don’t live anywhere near Cincinnati and its easy to forget here how polarizing a figure he can be. I’ll leave it at this then. I grew up following and loving the Big Red Machine Reds, and I was always a big fan of how Rose played the game, but never a big fan of Rose the person. Not a hater and I certainly had no idea what was coming later, but there were other players I loved a lot more. But you can’t tell the Reds story well without telling the story of Peter Edward Rose. I’m pleased that he’ll be a bigger part of that story now.

  4. I’ve been a Reds fan since 1971 and Pete Rose never made a fool of me. I couldn’t care less if he’s a jerk or nice guy. These people that make such a big deal about him lying need to get a life. In the big picture, Pete Rose lying about his gambling addiction scores about a 1 on a scale of 1 to 10. I’ve heard people citing stuff going way back, including the past commissioner Landis, who was an out and out racist. HE’S in the Hall of Fame. If an open racist can be in the Hall of Fame, why not someone with a gambling problem? I would only exclude Pete if he bet against his team and we all know that probably didn’t happen.

    • Exactly…let he without sin cast the first stone.

    • There are no signs in the locker room that say ” Being a racist will be punished by a life time ban.” Judge Landis saved the game and his views on race ( however wrong and misguided) were mainstream in 1925. Society evolved. We can judge the sins of the past but we always bed to view people’s actions in the context of their time.

      Rose wasn’t banned because he has a gambling addiction. He wasn’t banned for spending too much time at River Downs. He was banned for wagering on baseball games that he managed. The rules of baseball are rather clear as to what the consequences are for gambling on games.

      • I agree with you 100% but let’s be clear on what the penalty really is. Pete is, and will remain for the rest of his natural life, banned from baseball. This is just and right, no question about it. He should never be employed within the game again.

        However, that is a totally separate question from Hall of Fame enshrinement. Joe Jackson was eligible for the HOF and actually was on the ballot. Nothing in the rule posted in the club house indicates that betting on baseball will result in not appearing on the HOF ballot. This rule was added as a vindictive measure after Pete accepted his lifetime ban.

        Pete should be on the HOF ballot. He should be, and will be, in the Reds HOF. So, when you say the rules are clear regarding the consequences, you are right, but you don’t seem to know what those consequences actually are. The consequences have nothing to do with eligibility for the National Baseball or Reds HOF.

        • The HOF is an independent organization that has a business relationship with MLB. The HOF can set whatever eligible requirements they deem appropriate. Are you suggesting that Rose should be in the HOF because no one told him he’d be ineligible if he wagered on games?

          If I bring a gun to work I’m going to get fired. Does my industries trade association have an obligation to inform me that if I get fired then I can’t be “National Widget Salesman of the year?”

        • Kyle, I agree with both of your posts 100%, word for word (except I’m 43, not 42). I have been screaming both sentiments to anyone who will listen to me. Unfortunately, that’s not very many people.
          Chuck, I have no idea what you’re trying to say, but I’m pretty sure I couldn’t disagree more with you.

      • Your statement isn’t logical and seems to defend the racism of days gone by. Right is right and wrong is wrong, regardless of the time. Racism in 1925 was just as wrong as racism today. At one time, slavery was mainstream in our southern states. At one time, the persecution of Jews was mainstream in Germany. I guess you would defend that? My comments had nothing to do with Rose being banned from baseball so your comments are off-base. My comments concerned his exclusion from HOF. Next time, please read the post more carefully.

        • What part of ” wrong and misguided” don’t you understand?

          20 years ago, same sex marriage wasn’t widely accepted…today it is….should we remove the HOF class of 1996 because they were likely less progressive on that important issue than many people today? Should we hand France back to the Germans because the US Army of 1944 was segregated and therefore racist? I grew up in the 70’s and my mom smoked in the car and we didn’t wear seat belts. Should I call the cops?

          Society evolves. What’s acceptable today will be unacceptable years from now.

          My guess is the vast majority of baseball people in the 1920’s held some ” racist” beliefs. Should we investigate the racial attitudes of a bunch of dead guys and eradicate them all from the HOF? Should every team that played before 1947 be removed from the record books since it was just white guys?

          Should we stop at racism? What about sexism? Homophobia? Alcohol abuse? General meanness? Pete Rose often makes fun of Tony Perez’s broken English….is that hate speech?

  5. Thank you, John, for your article. Pete Rose to the Red’s HOF and a statue in front of the ballpark certainly suits me; a Reds fan since the mid-1940’s.

    • Yes, Pete’s passion brought a lot of joy to Reds fans, most of whom I believe are glad at this announcement.

  6. John: I suppose there is a segment of fans that won’t ever “forgive” Pete for gambling on baseball but my disgust with him has more to do with his lying for years and years about his gambling on baseball and then “coming clean” to sell books. He’s been a bit of a tragic figure for the past 30 years or so because he is his own worst enemy. I’m fine, maybe even pleased, that the Reds’ HOF changed their admission criteria and that MLB is going to allow him to be a part of the ceremonies. I believe he still won’t be able to hang around the batting cage or be on the field, other than for things like his HOF induction, as he is still banned by MLB and he and the Reds need their approval for him to participate in any baseball related functions.

    • I live in southern Illinois near St. Louis. My dad told me to watch Pete Rose play the game right. I became a Rose fan first and then a Reds fan after that. I have met Hal McCoy a few times ( hall of fame sports writer), and I agree with his conclusion. Let Pete in the baseball Hall of fame, but never let him touch a baseball field again.

  7. cheap shot at Brook Jacoby…

  8. The thing that amazes me is the number of so called Reds fans that absolutely can’t stand Pete Rose and are now freaking out over this news. My only thought is that if anyone is a Reds fan and not a fan of Rose then they never watched the guy play baseball. Watching Pete Rose play baseball is like watching a great artist paint. Was there ever anyone who worked so hard with so little and yet still achieved so much? That is why every Reds fan, that is every true Reds fan should applaud this situation.

    I could care less anymore how MLB honors or dishonors Rose but I do pray that the city itself never turns their back on him.

    • John, thanks very much for your article. Pete Rose was with the Reds from ’63 to ’78 and then back with us starting in the mid ’80’s. His stats are undeniable. During those days I was happy he was on our side. He was a hot dog & we loved it. At away games the opposing team’s fans would boo him. All he would do is single late the game, go from first to third (with a head first slide into third). Then Morgan, Perez or Bench would knock him in. Forget the gambling; remember him as a player, our lead-off hitter #14.

      I also agree with John about the Reds’ HOF, it is excellent.

    • Well said, Dan. Having seen Pete play the word that comes to my mind is ‘unique.’

    • What amazes me is that someone can be a Reds fan and still support Pete Rose.

      I love baseball more than I love the Reds. The Reds are certainly my team – no doubt about it, but baseball is first, the Reds are second. I also love the city of Cincinnati. It’s where I’ve spent my entire life.

      Pete Rose made fools of baseball. Pete Rose made fools of the Reds. Pete Rose made fools of the city of Cincinnati. And e did so for 25+ years with his selfish, bigger than all of them attitude. He lied for 15 years about what he had done to anyone and everyone willing to listen, while the people of Cincinnati defended him and the Cincinnati Reds did everything that they could to include him (he’s all over GABP in unofficial ways – the 14 bats in the Smoke Stacks, the Rose Garden, he’s on the mural at the entrance, but his number is hidden so they can claim it’s not actually Pete – I’m sure there’s even more). Then when he finally decided to fess up, he didn’t do it because he felt bad. He did it so he could make piles of cash selling a book to the same people he purposefully lied to. And has he ever said he’s sorry? Or asked for any kind of help with his addiction to gambling? No. Instead he still goes out and lies to the commissioner of baseball about gambling, still denies things they’ve got plenty of evidence of, makes jokes about gambling at his press conference when the Reds announce they will put him in their Hall of Fame….

      Sure, I never watched the guy play the game. But I don’t need to have done so. The guy has gone out of his way and made baseball, the Cincinnati Reds and the city I love look terrible. For as long as I can remember. And all for his own selfishness. Pete gave up all of his ‘honor’ the day he placed his first bet on a baseball game. Fans honored him when they cheered his hits, steals and defensive plays. That’s all he deserves at this point. The memory of those things. If he wants more, he should have to go out and earn it. Say you’re sorry, Pete. Go get some help for your addiction Pete. Go talk to other gamblers about how it ruined your life, Pete. Show that you actually grasp what you did.

      But I guess he doesn’t have to. Because the city still worships the ground he walks on and feels bad for him.

      • This narrative is incomplete because it doesn’t credit Pete at all for his 25 years as a player. That’s big. If you exclude the huge positives of that period, of course Pete’s balance is negative. Your view is based on the lies, but only the lies. Not the line drives *and* the lies. So it’s an incomplete and therefore flawed perspective. You fall in love with prospects based on watching them for several games over a few months. Nothing wrong with that. Try imagining what builds up in a fan’s mind for a hometown player you watch for 20 years. That’s what you’re missing.

        Pete isn’t being nominated for sainthood. Or even a job as assistant batting coach. He’ll never work again in baseball, rightly so. Because he remains addicted to gambling. Even bracketing the notion that addictions are diseases, not character flaws, people who support Rose going into the Reds HOF aren’t discounting his flaws.

        Your characterization that the city (and fans) “still worships the ground he walks on and feels bad for him” is wrong and simplistic.

        A fan doesn’t have to love, or even like, Pete Rose the man, to want to honor Pete Rose the player.

        • Steve, is your perspective on say Jose Peraza flawed and incomplete because you haven’t seen him play every day, if at all? Or can you gather information from various sources and still form an opinion?

          I also fell in love with Pete Rose’s competitiveness, hustle, batting stance/crouch and his accomplishments. Back in the day, the only local newspaper was an afternoon edition, and I’d wait by the door to get the paper and the Reds’ boxscore. Johnny Bench was the first Reds player that I became enthralled with: I still remember the paperback biography of Bench that I read as a school kid. My love for Bench quickly extended to Rose, Morgan, Perez, and all of the other pieces of the BRM including the modest Ed Armbrister.

          Pete Rose has gotten the credit, and will continue to get the credit, that his accomplishments deserve. Most Reds fans, whether than were alive during his time or not, can easily summon some facts about Rose: the hustle, the uniform #, the 4,256 career hits, and yes, the award/rewards he accumulated along the way, from being the ROY (I was 3 yrs old, and the only ROY I knew was an uncle), a MVP, and the numerous All Star awards. As an aside, I assume that most of us can easily recount a thing or two about Johnny Vander Meer without having ever seen him play. The city and GABP have honored Pete Rose in many ways; he’s gotten his credit for his accomplishments as a player.

          Unfortunately, Pete Rose has never tried to rehabilitate himself or his image. His arrogance has led him to lie (in the face of overwhelming evidence) for many years, and he lies to this very day (in his recent responses to the current MLB commish) about his baseball gambling. He’s an embarrassment to himself, the city of Cincinnati, and the Reds organization. I’d no sooner support honoring him than honoring Rodger Clemens, Barry Bonds, Lance Armstrong, or for that matter Richard Nixon. People like these are polarizing for a reason: they live in the shadows. For this Reds fan, I say let Pete Rose remain in the shadows.

          • I’m not saying that Doug can’t possibly value Pete’s playing days because he never saw Pete play. I was pointing out that Doug’s stated view of Rose is one-sided, only looking at his days after playing. You just have to read his comment to see that.

            Unlike others, I don’t take Pete’s behavior personally. I don’t look at it as “Pete lied to me.” I view it as a guy who can’t face his addiction. I’ve had close friends who have been like that. I’m not going to judge someone as arrogant or as a liar. I’ve been too close to it.

            We just have different views of what a Hall of Fame is. I’d vote to put Bonds and Clemens in the baseball HOF. Pete’s sins are less than what the two of them are accused of.

            If admission to the Reds HOF is contingent on high moral character, then Pete doesn’t belong. But I suspect neither would many others who are in it. That’s a slippery slope.

            My view is simple: The Reds HOF should honor what the players did on the field in a Reds uniform *not* their character as men. No one would dispute that Rose’s career on the field meets that criteria.

        • Pete got all of the honor he deserves from all of those line drives and all of that other jazz when he was on the field. He got ovations left and right, for 25 years on the field.

          Pete is being honored for being a baseball player. The problem is, Pete gave all of that up when he decided he was bigger than the game.

          I don’t think it’s a stretch at all to say this city still worships the ground he walks on or feels bad for him. Go read through my mentions from the last week and see the things people sent me about Pete when I said the Reds were foolishly placing him in their Hall of Fame. There’s some serious hero worship going on, even still.

          • Does it really need to be said out loud that Twitter mentions don’t represent an entire city? More accurate to say that *some* people still worship Pete and feel bad for him. Not everyone who thinks Rose should be in the HOF believes that. I neither worship Pete nor feel bad for him. I didn’t see those sentiments in John Ring’s post, either.

          • Well, of course not everyone. But I do think there’s a large majority of this city that has done serious hero worship with Pete Rose.

        • Steve, I’m fairly certain that Doug not addressing Pete Rose’s accomplishments on the field doesn’t mean that he’s unaware of them, or even unappreciative of them. Mr. Gray, by all accounts, lives and breathes baseball. From my perspective, if we’re talking about honoring a man, there should be more than the one criterion: his baseball stats. If you are basing your decision solely on stats, why have a HOF election? Just feed stats into a computer. You have 4,256 hits, just program the HAL 9000 to award the HOF, despite the lifetime ban from baseball. You have 762 HR’s, the computer says ding, ding, ding, winner, despite the cheating via steroids. Let’s eliminate judgement from the equation completely. And let’s teach our children, that lying and cheating only costs you when you’re not rich or famous. Lie and cheat, AND GET CAUGHT? No problem, we’ll honor you anyway.

          Pete Rose has gotten all of the fame and fortune that his performances have earned him. He also deserves the consequences of his actions as a baseball manager. Rule 21 clearly prohibited him from betting on games he was involved in, with the punishment being a lifetime ban from baseball. Despite this, he bet on Reds games and did so regularly. That the HOF has banned him as well might have not have been foreseen by Rose, but such is the nature of making bad choices. Bad choices lead to bad consequences, some of them unforeseen. You say that “unlike others, I don’t take Pete’s behavior personally. I don’t look at it as “Pete lied to me.”” This has nothing to do with hurt personal feelings, as if we’re too sensitive. It has everything to do with holding people accountable, no matter who you are, big or small.

          It doesn’t matter what other offenses (known or unknown at the time) HOF members may have committed in the past. The question is whether Pete Rose SHOULD BE in the HOF, or the Reds HOF, not whether some player or players should not have been in the past. You are willing to allow players, managers, and umpires to gamble on the games, which could very easily affect the outcome of games ON THE FIELD, and then turn around and honor them with HOF admission. You are willing to allow players to cheat and use performance enhancing drugs, which very clearly does affect the outcome of games ON THE FIELD, and honor them with HOF admission. Let’s take an extreme example that doesn’t affect the outcome of the performance (it’s an extreme example, so no need for indignation). Should we elect Bill Cosby to the Comedy Hall of Fame, because his actions off the stage (which he hasn’t yet been convicted of) don’t affect his comedic performance? I would hope not. Let’s honor the men who honor the game and themselves, not Pete Rose, Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds, nor a guy like Lance Armstrong. There’s still a place for honor in our lives.

          • The honor in our lives comes from our *own* behavior, not subjective criteria for worshiping professional athletes. Grow up.

            If you want to start a society for baseball players who have impeccable personal behavior, go ahead. Exclude the steroid users (good luck figuring out who used and who didn’t, or even establishing a fair procedure for determining it) and exclude the players who used amphetamines. Exclude the racists. After all, we’re looking for a “place for honor in our lives” remember. No racists allowed in there, or sexists. I imagine a small number of people, if any, will make it in, but so be it. The idea that Rose has gotten all the fame and fortune that his performance has earned him is an argument against the existence of a hall of fame, period. Why would you discount the offenses that people committed in the past? Are they irrelevant to “a place of honor in our lives”? That’s absurd. You don’t want to consider that, but you’re interested in comparing Pete Rose to Bill Cosby.

            Rule 21 doesn’t apply to admission to the Reds HOF. The commissioner himself drew a distinction between Rule 21 punishments (not being allowed to have a baseball job) and honoring. Didn’t the commissioner sign off on the Reds inducting Rose?

            Of course there’s a line. Everyone has a line, we just disagree on where that is. Looking at extreme examples is pointless for that.

            I notice you didn’t address the issue of addiction. As I mentioned before, gambling addiction is an illness, not a character flaw. That doesn’t absolve Rose from accountability for not seeking treatment, but that’s a different issue. Maybe addiction hasn’t touched your life. You’re lucky. Maybe you don’t see a difference between a person who can’t stop gambling and a person who willfully dopes his blood or uses PEDs. But I do.

            Pete’s career as a Reds player and accomplishments on the field can be honored in the Reds Hall of Fame without endorsing his gambling.

        • I don’t understand your need to attack me with an admonishment to “grow up”, but that’s your choice. Perhaps, the people that worship an athlete, then turn around and honor him with a blind eye to his lying and cheating, might be the ones that need to grow up. Or maybe no one needs to grow up and it could be that, as you said, “everyone has a line, we just disagree on where that is.”

          The straw man argument about only having admission for those with impeccable behavior is weak. Any kind of award is subjective by its very nature. When we talk about Pete Rose, Barry Bonds, and Roger Clemens there is ample evidence that they broke the rules or cheated; we’re not talking about impeccable behavior. Yes, there are others that are question marks, but that’s why there’s a vote. Voters have to make that judgement on an individual basis, and a player doesn’t need 99% of the HOF vote, just 75%.

          This is not a choice about whether to admit a person with a gambling addiction. Rose could have satisfied his gambling addiction without gambling on baseball. And if he chose to bet on baseball, he could have gambled on games that he wasn’t involved in with a potential consequence of a one year suspension from baseball. He knew that there was a lifetime ban, but gambled he wouldn’t get caught. He lost that bet, and should pay the consequences, much like an alcoholic should have a consequence if he/she makes the poor choice of getting behind the wheel while under the influence. The fact that someone has an addiction does not absolve them from being responsible for any of their actions. I would be more sympathetic towards Pete Rose had he not continued to lie to us for years and years. Andy Pettitte might have only come clean because he got caught, but at least he owned (somewhat?) his actions. I have more respect for Pettitte, than another compulsive liar Roger Clemens, who disgraces himself further by perpetuating the lie.

          Yes, we disagree on where to draw a line. Pete Rose is a controversial figure for good reason. What’s absurd is not having a tolerance for a different point of view.

          Redleg Nation is a blog dedicated to enthusiastic, smart and civil discourse concerning our favorite baseball team, the Cincinnati Reds.

          No personal attacks … comment on the Reds, not other commenters. Treat people with respect.

          • I have plenty of tolerance for people who have other viewpoints on this, as my comments have *clearly* indicated (everyone has their own line). You’re the one who implied that people who thought Rose should be in the HOF didn’t have honor in their lives. My original response was to Doug’s comment, which I thought was an overly broad characterization of what people who disagreed with him thought. Your comments about addiction – indicating you think it’s easy for addicts to draw convenient lines – don’t reflect the reality of the disease of addiction as I understand it.

        • Your tolerance for other viewpoints (as well as respect) is less than clear, when you tell me to *Grow Up*.

          I did not imply that Rose supporters lacked honor in their lives (as you well know). My point from the start was that we shouldn’t be honoring a man who lacks honor.
          As for addiction, I’ve seen my fair share of it. Human nature being what it is, there are plenty of different addictions that afflict people. I never indicated that it’s EASY for addicts to draw lines. What I said was “the fact that someone has an addiction does not absolve them from being responsible for any of their actions”. If the alcoholic drives drunk, and kills someone, they should pay the consequences. How many of us were satisfied when that teenager in Texas was DUI and killed 4 people, only to get off with probation because he suffered from “affluenza”? If you expect a complete lack of responsibility, you will get irresponsible behavior in return, as evidenced by the affluenza teen’s recent actions. We do Pete Rose no favors when he acts irresponsibly, lies for years about it, and then we turn around and honor him.

          Electing Pete Rose in the HOF, or the Reds HOF, honors the man as well as the man’s achievements. The two are inseparable, despite the mental gymnastics. It’s extremely important to Pete Rose to be in the HOF. Why? Because it’s an honor and a privilege, and a validation of the man.

          My lack of support for Rose is not the popular view in these parts. However, it’s my view and no less worthy than the opposing view.

        • There are only two things I can’t stand in this world. People who are intolerant of other people’s views on Pete Rose… and the Dutch.

        • … and the Dutch. LOL !!!

  9. First, thanks for the article, John. I’m glad Pete will be in the Reds’ Hall of Fame. He deserves to be there, and the fans deserve for him to be there.

    But what saddens me about Rose is that it sounds like the new commish might have ruled differently if Rose hadn’t still been betting on sports, including baseball, albeit legally.

    If he had an addiction to betting, then one would think that he would want to stop betting altogether. And if it was not an addiction, but just a case of him doing whatever he wanted despite the rules while he was managing, and he sees no reason to stop now, the commish would be crazy to let him back in baseball. If Rose’s point was that he could stop gambling anytime he wants if he’s back in baseball, he should have demonstrated that to the commissioner beforehand.

  10. I’ve been a Reds Fan since I was 10 yrs old, circa 1970. Pete Rose was an important piece of the BRM and his statistics and his signature hustle will be forever remembered. That said, I have no interest in HONORING the man (or by extension, his accomplishments, if you’re one of those who try to thread the needle of reason). The man is pond scum.

    As parents we try to teach our kids the difference between right and wrong. We teach them there are consequences for bad choices. And we tell them to “come clean” when they have lied or done something underhanded. Pete Rose fails across the board, and has failed miserably for 3 decades. The man continues to lie to this day, and has learned nothing from any of this.

    Rule 21 is prominently displayed in every clubhouse in MLB, and was there for Rose’s entire career. It prohibits gambling on games and for those who participate while doing so, the consequence is a lifetime ban from baseball. Rose knew what he was doing was wrong, but he went full bore at it anyway. If he needed to feed his gambling addiction, there are plenty of other options besides baseball. There may be people here that believe him when he says he never bet on the Reds to lose (i.e. he never intentionally tanked a game), but given all we know about his lack of trustworthiness, are you going to believe Pete Rose? And say he got into a hole with his bookies: he could tank a game that he didn’t bet on, and by providing that tip, he could satisfy a gambling debt with a bookie.

    The truth is a distant acquaintance of the “man”. On national TV (to both David Letterman and Larry King), Rose has admitted that he used “greenies” (amphetamines) years before during his playing days. Of course, in typical Pete fashion, he prefers the name “diet pills”, and he says that he used them on days when he was tired. How do you look at his hustle now, when some of it could have come from a pill bottle?

    As for consequences, Pete Rose got all of the fame and fortune from his baseball accomplishments along the way. There have been very few negative consequences to Pete Rose from his actions. His exclusion from the Hall of Fame is one that obviously irks him, and I’m glad it does. Rose may not have foreseen that his baseball gambling would cost him a spot in the HOF, but bad choices to lead to bad consequences, and often unforeseen consequences.

    Pete Rose’s inclusion in the Reds Hall of Fame is bad for us the fans, bad for the Reds organization, and good for Pete Rose. I hope that ticket for the Reds HOF ceremony includes a shower afterwards (particularly for those who shake his hand). I’m going to explain this to my young kids some day. The Rose supporters and apologists should try explaining their HOF support to an eight year old child, preferably their own child. If you have a hard time explaining your position to that child, you know you are making a bad choice.

  11. Excellent article and that´s right, Pete Rose in the Reds´HOF is good for us fans. Im sure the moral and behavior judges are pure and without sins. Tell Yankees fans that Babe Ruth was no role model whatsoever, that many celebrated players in the HOF were drug addicts, racists, domestic violent offenders, gamblers or just awful citizens. Go no further and look at the biography of the man that owned the record that Rose broke, Ty Cobb.

    Just stop it and be proud of Pete Rose, the player.

  12. Pete Rose is pond scum??? How self-righteous!!. I will admit the man is tragic…and I don’t use that word to glorify him. However, the only real sin he could have committed in the eyes of any real baseball fan is if he threw a game. And there is no evidence or even accusation that he did. Should he be in the Baseball Hall of Fame. I leave that up to the them…they got their rules. Pete broke them. If he wants in he must atone. If he can’t then so be it…and that’s where the tragedy comes in. The Reds hall of fame has its own rules too…and if they want to waive them they can. I’m all for it. He is paying for his ‘sins.’ If you want to teach your children something, teach the impact of having tragic flaws and not self-rigtheousness.

    • You want to throw the man a parade, that’s your right. I don’t need to step in line and agree.

      You say “if you want to teach your children something, teach the impact of having tragic flaws …” That was the premise of my comments: if you make bad choices, you pay the consequences. He’s hardly paid for his sins (except perhaps the 5 month prison term he served for tax evasion back in 1990). He got all the reward and glory during his playing days, and now earns in excess of $ 1 Million per year from paid appearances and autograph signings. You want to speak to Rose or get his autograph? Get your wallet out, because he rarely does anything that doesn’t line his pockets. I saw it first hand, when he managed the independent league Bridgeport Bluefish for a promo night. Even though we had inside connections, myself and my kids never got anywhere near him. The local kids tried to get his autograph before, during, and after the game but he had little interest. You needed to attend a pre-game paid autograph session. Typical Rose; he talks of his love of talking to the everyday baseball fan, yet rarely does so without charging a fee.

      The man broke the cardinal rule of baseball, yet many are too quick to make excuses for him and look the other way. The only significant consequence that Pete Rose has ever paid is his exclusion from the HOF. Bad choices can lead to bad consequences, whether you’re a star athlete or John Q Public. That’s the lesson to be learned here.

      • Of course it´s your right to disagree and to even hold some harsh feelings against him for not giving you that autograph so long ago. Probably he should sign them to all the 1 MM people he´s come across, with inside connections or not.

        I guess he also deserves to be considered a greedy man since he´s making a million bucks a year that people are willing to pay him for what he did as a BASEBALL PLAYER. Yet, so many players collect 5 times that kind of money just for being injured or not playing at all. Hey, Bobby Bonilla gets that money and hasn´t played a game since what?…10 years?

        But what´s unbearable for me is the double standards . The cardinal rule of baseball is CHEATING not betting. And baseball has been, is and will be full of cheaters. Since the corked bat days to the juiced players, not to mention stealing signs or hacking other teams data base.

        Now the moral judges want say he is a criminal and shouldn´t be celebrated as the amazing player he was. But I´m sure that you would be surprised – or perhaps not- for how many of those in the HOF have a less than desirable profile and how many of those spend big parts of their fortunes making the Vegas people a lot happier.

        And I´m not even discussing MLB´s sponsors…

        • and let me add to the list of cardinal sins: Domestic Violence. Bye bye HOF for you Aroldis….oh wait, he´s now a Yankee and he´s innocent and he won´t be suspended and….the Reds got screwed….once again.

  13. “However, the only real sin he could have committed in the eyes of any real baseball fan is if he threw a game.” Exactly right, JACK.

    Armbrister, using words like “pond scum” really attests to your over-the-top feelings in this matter. “Even though we had inside connections, myself and my kids never got anywhere near him.” BOO-HOO. Why would you want to use your inside connections to go near pond scum. Get over it.

  14. Here is the mission statement for the Reds Hall of Fame and Museum: Our core purpose is to record, preserve and promote the rich history and traditions of the Cincinnati Reds, honor on-field accomplishments and achievements, and create an everlasting memorial to baseball and the Cincinnati Reds.

    • There’s no character clause there. Nothing that would exclude Rose from what I’m reading. It goes along with honoring the player not the person.

  15. If the Reds handle Pete’s induction into the Reds HOF like they did the All-Star Game, all will be well.

    I am hopeful that Pete’s accomplishments as a player will be celebrated, but also his missteps will be mentioned…

    Sometimes our heroes have tragic flaws. You can celebrate Pete’s accomplishments as a player without deifying him.

  16. I find it very hypocritical that that MLB “allows” Pete Rose to be a part of a baseball celebration as long as it benefits MLB but won’t reinstate him. I will stop now because some of the comments on here are about to put me in the corner for violating TOS. The youth who are so self righteous might want to pay a little more attention to those who actually saw him play. He wasn’t a saint and he committed the cardinal sin in baseball, of course the commissioner who made it a cardinal sin was a proud racist PO…………um never mind. I will end with those who are not so forgiving of his perceived manipulations of the situation, remember he played in the era of ball players working in the off season to pay bills he is not one of the multi-million dollar babies. People do what they have to do when it comes to making a living when they lose their livelihood.

    • Rose benefits from being part of celebrations…..it benefits him and MLB. Whether one saw him play or not (I did) is irrelevant.

      The fact that Judge Landis was a racist has no bearing as to whether a player/manager should be able to wager on games.

      From 1979-1989, Rose made close to 1 million per year……he also was paid well above 6 figures from 1973 on…….he wasn’t selling toasters at Steinberg’s during the winter.

  17. I remember a line from the movie The Longest Yard where Caretaker says to Burt Reynolds that the guys in the pen could forgive him even if he committed murder but they viewed shaving points in a football game as being Un-American.Thats kind of where the majority of fans are with Pete.I personally can separate Pete the player from Pete the gambler because I have to unless I want to start looking at the moral values of all professional athletes.I am certainly not qualified to do any of that so I won’t and if Bob wants to honor Pete then that’s up to him.

  18. Mr. Ring’s articles are always good and his comments are right on and Mr. Mancuso has weighed in with good comments also, The HOF in Cooperstown is NOT part of MLB and therefore can do whatever it wants. It changed its own rules so that Rose could not be voted in. This was not the first time the HOF changed it induction rules to suit its likes or dislikes. Read the book “Cooperstown Confidential” by Chafets. The first half of the book is the history of the place and how the rules came about–the second half of the book gives the author’s views on players. PEDs and so on. Rose’s records are there in Cooperstown and rightly so. I loved watching him play and by the way (I moved to CA over 50 years ago) he was cheered in LA and SF and San Diego by many fans. For Sunday games in Dodger Stadium Rose would be on the radio for three hours before the game. This was on the show “Dodger Talk”. He was and is a great salesman for baseball in general and the Reds in particular. What you have now is the best of a bad situation —that Rose created for himself and that will benefit the Reds more than Rose..

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About John Ring

John lives in Galesburg, Illinois and has been a Reds fan all of his life. He is a retired firefighter and a Veteran who served for 32 years but stays active at the local Humane Society. His favorite Reds players include Frank Robinson, Vada Pinson, Tony Perez, Eric Davis, and Bronson Arroyo. While writing, he frequently listens to the music of Led Zeppelin and Steely Dan. He is flanked in the photo by ever-loyal "Reptar."

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