Statistically, there is no argument about the Hall of Fame qualifications of Pete Rose. Even the most casual baseball fan is aware that “Charlie Hustle” is the all time hit king with 4,256 hits; a record that may never be broken. Rose also was a seventeen time All Star, and proved to be a clutch performer as evidenced by his three World Series Rings; including a World Series MVP. Sadly, as much as casual sports fans are aware of Rose’s on field accomplishments, many who have never turned their dial to ESPN knows his off field embarrassments.
As many are aware, Pete Rose was banned from baseball for betting on the sport. This has always been considered a taboo in Major League Baseball as they have always prohibited their players from betting on the sport. Rose was caught doing such and most specifically, regularly wagering on his own team.
Here is where it gets interesting for us at NIHOF. We will flat out tell you that the five of us who comprise the NIHOF committee are borderline degenerate gamblers, so for us to come down on a kindred spirit seems so wrong to us. With that said, there is nothing in our line of work that prevents us from placing a wager or two; there was for Pete Rose.
Where it got worse was that Rose denied the allegations for years. How different would it have been had he owned up and admitted what he did? When heroes fall (and sadly we are a society that wants to see it happen) the expectation is that they own up to their mistakes and they are forgiven. One only has to look at the current situation with Andy Petite and Roger Clemens and see the reactions to these two pitchers. Petite apologized, and when he pitches today, fans don’t think about his former PED use. Clemens is on TV, and all we can think about are his hollow denials.
This isn’t to say that Pete Rose would have been reinstated had he admitted his guilt. Baseball is an institution rooted so deeply in tradition that it often fails to move forward. There is a very sizable chance that Rose would have remained ineligible had he admitted that wrongdoing twenty years ago. What probably cemented his fate is that when he finally did admit gambling on Baseball it was in 2004 upon releasing a book. The timing was awful as he did so two days after the Baseball Hall of Fame announced their 2004 inductees. It reeked of selfishness, and the apology fell flat to many.
Regardless, we are hopeful that at some point in time, Pete Rose becomes inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. There should be no doubt that his is the greatest omission of any Hall of Fame period. There is no question about that. Pete will however likely be our “1A” candidate for years to come.
The Bullet Points:
Country of Origin:
Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S.A.
1992 (Declared Ineligible)
1B, 2B, 3B, OF
Major Accolades and Awards:
Rookie of the Year (NL) (1963)
Most Valuable Player (NL) (1973)
World Series Most Valuable Player (1975)
17 Time All Star (1965, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982 & 1985)
Gold Glove (2) (NL) (1969 & 1970)
Silver Slugger (NL) (1981)
Batting Titles (3) (NL) (1968, 1969, 1973)
Highest On Base Percentage (2) (NL) (1968 & 1979)
Most Runs Scored (4) (NL) (1969, 1974, 1975 & 1976)
Most Hits (7) (NL) (1965, 1968, 1970, 1972, 1973, 1976 & 1981)
Most Doubles (5) (NL) (1974, 1975, 1976, 1978 & 1980)
World Series Rings (3) (Cincinnati Reds, 1975 & 1976, Philadelphia Phillies, 1980)
Named to the All Century Team (OF)
Other Points of Note:
Other top ten MVP finishes: (Won the 1973 NL MVP)
(NL: 1965, 5th), (NL: 1966, 10th), (NL: 1967, 10th), (NL: 1968, 2nd), (NL: 1969, 4th), (NL: 1970, 7th), (NL: 1975, 5th), (NL: 1976, 4th) & (NL: 1981, 10th)
Hutch Award (1968)
Lou Gehrig Memorial Award (1969)
Roberto Clemente Award (1976)
13 Top Ten Finishes (Batting Average)
11 Top Ten Finishes (On Base Percentage)
2 Top Ten Finishes (Slugging Percentage)
15 Top Ten Finishes (Runs Scored)
17 Top Ten Finishes (Hits)
11 Top Ten Finishes (Total Bases)
15 Top Ten Finishes (Doubles)
8 Top Ten Finishes (Triples)
7 Top Ten Finishes (Walks)
6 Top Ten Finishes (WAR for Position Players)
3 Top Ten Finishes (OPS)
Notable All Time Rankings:
1. Games Played: 3,562
1. At Bats: 14,053
1. Plate Appearances: 15,861
1. Hits: 4,256
2. Doubles: 746
6. Runs Scored: 2,165
7. Total Bases: 5,752
14. Walks: 1,566
45. WAR (Position Players): 75.3
75. Triples: 135
91. Runs Batted In: 1,314
Vote Percentage Received for the Hall of Fame:
Should Be Inducted As A:Cincinnati Red