Pete Rose & The Hypocritcal Hall of Fame
6/3/18 --- Originally published 1-26-04
If every member of the Baseball Hall of Fame, alive or dead, could get together to discuss the Pete Rose situation, it would be an interesting meeting.
“Hi, my name is Ty Cobb, I was a racist and a gambler."
“Hi, my name is Kennesaw Mountain Landis, I’m not a racist, as long as we keep major league baseball lily white, I’m happy.”
“Hi, my name is Ferguson Jenkins, I’ve done some drugs in the past, but the authorities cleared me of any wrong-doing.”
“Hi, my name is Gaylord Perry and I admitted to illegally doctoring the baseball throughout my entire career in a book so I can make extra money.”
Considering the American way is a jury of our peers, these might be the right people to be on the jury. And it’s not like these are the only members of the Hall who either broke the law or did not act in the best interests of baseball. But imagine for a minute the meeting the four of them would have.
Cobb: It was okay to gamble in my day, things were different. But how dare he do it today. He deserves it for breaking my record anyway. Don’t let him in the Hall.
Landis: I suspended Shoeless Joe and he did a lot less. Looking back, maybe I shouldn’t have, it’s not like he was black or anything like that.
Jenkins: Nobody should be allowed to break the rules. Now if he was doing drugs, then that could be considered a sickness.
Perry: You are so right Fergie. It would be one thing if he did something illegal to help his on-field performance, but he didn’t. How dare Rose even think he should be allowed in our select group of righteous ballplayers.
Jenkins and Perry were adamant about keeping Rose out of the Hall of Fame. That makes them two of the biggest hypocrites in recent memory. Jenkins was arrested for drug possession and Perry admitted to cheating to enhance his performance. Who knows how many fewer games he would have won if Vaseline had not been invented.
There is no question in my mind that Pete Rose broke the rules. For 14 years, he has been kept out of Cooperstown, which was a fair penalty. It’s time to wake up, allow him to take his rightful place among the baseball immortals. I wouldn’t let him manage again, but I certainly believe as a player, he earned his plaque.
For those that have sworn to never return to Cooperstown if Rose is reinstated, I have only two words for you…Grow Up! Yes, he bet on baseball, he bet on the Cincinnati Reds and then lied about it for 14 years. Three things he shouldn’t have done. What’s worse is, he made money on his admission of guilt.
The oldtimers have the right to ignore Pete at the annual dinner, but they have no right to keep him out of the Hall. I can think of 4,192 reasons why he belongs there. Can’t you?