Of all the players who have ever set foot on a baseball diamond, Pete Rose is definitely one of the best. It would be a difficult task to find another player of the great sport of baseball to model your own game after. However, as a person, Pete Rose made some questionable decisions that ultimately led to him being banned for life from baseball. And he clearly regrets his poor decisions, as he once said, "I'd walk through hell in a gas suit to play baseball again." So just how good was Pete Rose when he was playing major league baseball?
Some Pete Rose Career Hits
Pete Rose played in the MLB for 23 years, and during his time, very few could lay a claim to being better than he was at the sport of baseball. He was always a competitive athlete, and he earned the nickname Charlie Hustle for his competitive nature and quick plays. His career hits are even more impressive, as his average of 185 hits a season combined for an all-time best 4,256 base hits in his career.
Perhaps best known as a member of the Cincinnati Reds, Pete Rose was a three-time batting champion, as well as a three-time Most Valuable Player (MVP). However, his life took an unfortunate turn after he transitioned from player to manager...
The Beginning of the Scandal
Pete Rose and the Dowd Report
In 1989, John Dowd, a lawyer who played a role as Special Counsel to the Commissioner, investigated charges against Pete Rose for gambling on major league baseball games. John Dowd’s report incriminating Pete Rose is now colloquially known as the “Dowd Report.” This report was given to Bart Giamatti, who at the time was the commissioner of the MLB. Sports Illustrated helped to make the public at large more aware of the report and its allegations in an issue from April, 1989, revealing that Dowd had received most of his information from friends of Pete Rose and the player’s bookie.
Pete Rose's Gambling Addiction
Much of the incriminating evidence against Pete Rose, according to the Dowd Report, centered around Rose’s wagers made on MLB games from the years 1985-1987. Greater detail was given to bets made by Pete Rose in the 1987 season, when the baseball player wagered on more than 50 Cincinnati Reds games as the manager. The amazing thing is that the minimum dollar amount for each of those wagers was $10,000. With that much money on the line, fans and sports authorities were concerned that Rose would attempt to control the flow of the game and intentionally lose games to win money. However, there is no hard evidence that Pete Rose ever bet against Cincinnati.
Pete Rose Lies About Gambling
Pete Rose continued to find himself in deeper and deeper trouble, as he repeatedly denied gambling on baseball games. Rose refused to appear at a hearing with Giamatti to discuss gambling, and Pete Rose was voluntarily placed on baseball’s ineligibility list. In addition to that, Pete Rose was sentenced to five months in prison for tax evasion, starting in July 1990.
Aftermath of the Pete Rose Scandal
Since Pete Rose was banned for life from baseball for betting on games, he has remained ineligible for the Baseball Hall of Fame, despite his 4,256 career hits. But the man has never given up hope, as he continued for years to campaign for his reinstatement to the MLB. He finally admitted to his crimes of gambling in a 2004 interview, hoping the admission would allow him to be reinstated, but no such luck. So how does he make his money? Well, Rose continues to draw large crowds for autograph signings in cities such as Las Vegas.
Should Pete Rose be allowed into the Hall of Fame?
The debate continues to rage to this day about whether Pete Rose should be allowed entry into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Only time will tell for sure what will happen, but there are arguments for both sides. On the one hand, Pete Rose dedicated his life to the sport he loved, and he excelled at it. However, he also committed the grave error of gambling on the outcomes of games he was responsible for, which is a terrible disgrace to the sport of baseball. So what do you think? Should Pete Rose be allowed or denied entry into the Baseball Hall of Fame?