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I saw Pete Rose’s first wife on a talk show years ago. She summed up Charlie’s hustle pretty well, to wit: “Pete Rose as a human being is a great ballplayer.”
I wouldn’t want Pete Rose moving into my neighborhood. He’d likely bring in the wrong kind of visitors. If I had a daughter and she brought him home I’d be horrified. But a Baseball Hall of Fame without Pete Rose in it is an absurdity.
Bud Selig could commit his first sensible public act by allowing Rose to be elected to the hall while keeping Rose’s ban from baseball otherwise intact. And let’s just skip the phony confession and insincere contrition. I’m not interested in listening to some “it depends on what the meaning of ‘is,’ is” type of admission cooked up by Pete’s lawyers.
Keeping Rose out of the hall punishes him, but it also punishes baseball fans who visit baseball’s jewel of a shrine. The hall is there to celebrate great play on the field. And few have played baseball better than Pete Rose.
In fact, if hundreds of major leaguers played ball now like Pete did, America’s summertime productivity would take serious hit. No one in America would be doing anything except watching baseball games from April through October (current major leaguers playing in empty stadiums, take note).p>Gambling on baseball makes Pete a scofflaw, and it seems clear that baseball has the goods on Pete in this regard. So baseball has the right to cast him into outer darkness. But don’t throw the fans into outer darkness with him. Don’t try to make us forget Pete’s 4,000 plus hits. Don’t try to make us forget that Pete Rose made baseball about as fun and exciting as anyone who ever put on cleats. br> — Larry Thornberry br> Tampa, FL