Pete Rose’s dream to be enshrined into the baseball Hall of Fame was crushed when his request to be put on the ballot was denied in December, a decision that wasn’t made public until reported by the Los Angeles Times on Wednesday.
Commissioner Rob Manfred rejected Rose’s request in 2015 to have his lifetime ban for betting on baseball in the 1980s lifted, keeping in line with the stance of his predecessor, Bud Selig. But Manfred said Rose’s Hall of Fame eligibility would be considered independently from his ban from working in any capacity within Major League Baseball.
Rose, 76, stated his case to the Hall to be put on the ballot and live with the results either way. That request was also denied.
The decision comes as the Cincinnati Reds prepare to honor “Charlie Hustle” by unveiling a statue outside their ballpark on Saturday depicting the all-time MLB hits leader in a head-first slide. The team is also throwing a block party to commemorate the occasion.
Rose was a key member of the “Big Red Machine’s” back-to-back World Series championship teams of 1975-76. He agreed to the lifetime ban in 1989, and two years later the Hall of Fame instituted a policy preventing any player banned from the game from standing for election.
Manfred left the door open in 2015 when he said the “considerations that should drive a decision on whether an individual should be allowed to work in baseball are not the same as those that should drive a decision on Hall of Fame eligibility.”
However, the Hall of Fame stuck by its policy in denying Rose’s request in December.
“We feel it would be incongruous to be putting someone on a ballot that is otherwise banned from the game,” Hall of Fame president Jeff Idelson said.
— Mike Russell (@MikeRussellWTVA) June 15, 2017
Rose’s agent, Ray Genco, intends to continue to petition the Hall of Fame to reconsider its stance.
“We’ve engaged with the Hall of Fame and members of the board,” Genco said, per the L.A. Times. “At this point, they haven’t changed their rule, but I will continue to work for them to change the ‘Pete Rose rule,’ which would allow the baseball writers to vote on Pete.”