Rose should be reinstated
To the editor:
It has recently been reported that baseball icon Pete Rose has formally requested that Major League Baseball reinstate him and end his lifetime ban from his beloved sport, which began in August 1989 as a result of his admitting to placing bets on games being played by the Cincinnati Reds, a franchise for which he played and managed from 1985-87, for his team reportedly to win numerous games on which he wagered.
The lifetime ban Rose received appears quite inconsistent and, comparatively, unfair, when no such ban, or comparable punishment, was granted to those who essentially cheated in order to improve their personal performance or to greatly improve their team’s prospects of winning on the field, namely the use of anabolic steroids and the electronic sign stealing that has recently been reported.
Rose, whose stellar Major League Baseball career as an active player spanned from 1963, when he was named the National League rookie of the year, until his retirement in 1986, played for his hometown team, the Reds, from 1963 until 1978 and again from 1984 to 1986, the Philadelphia Phillies from 1979 to 1983 and the Montreal Expos in 1983, and, as a result of his on-field accomplishments was considered one of the greatest players of his era, as well as all-time.
A number of Rose’s on-field accomplishments are as follows: All-time leader in hits (4,256), singles (3,215), games 3,562) and at-bats (14,053), while currently second in doubles (746), sixth in runs scored (2,165) and ninth in total bases (5,752.) In addition, Rose played in 17 all-star games and was named an all-star at an unmatched five positions, while playing on three World Series championship teams; collected 100 or more hits in 23 consecutive seasons; accumulated more than 200 hits in six seasons; and was named Major League Player of the Decade by the Sporting News for the 1970s, after beginning his career by being named rookie of the year in 1965.
Sports Illustrated selected Rose as the seventh-best right fielder and the second-best second baseman of all-time — the only player to be so honored at two positions.
Rose was early on given the moniker of Charlie Hustle because he always gave 100 percent effort in every aspect of the game and, although he was not blessed with great speed or power, made the most of his attributes with a work ethic second to none.
Also, throughout his career, Rose was known as being very fan-friendly, always willing to sign autographs and converse with fans off the diamond. The sport of baseball was certainly the better as a result of Rose’s involvement in and dedication to the game.
In this case, the punishment was inappropriate for the indiscretion, and after 30 long years, Rose, I strongly feel, should be reinstated into Major League Baseball and, thereafter, be inducted to his rightful place in baseball’s hall of fame.