Originally Posted by dougdirt
Pete Rose cheated the game of baseball in a much different way. Pete cheated baseball, the Reds and this great city that I live in of a great person to look up to as an iconic player, someone to celebrate for the rest of time. Now he is simply a liar, crook, gambler and a disgrace to all of them. Pete is all about Pete. He doesn't care about anyone or anything else. The only reason he finally admitted what he did, was because he was going to make a big profit off of it by selling a book where he admitted doing it. The guy simply has no shame.
Even if this is all true, and I don't seriously disagree, Pete should still be in the HOF. If we want a character test to screen out jerks, then Ty Cobb should never have been allowed in the HOF. (From Wikipedia
: "Cobb once slapped a black elevator operator for being "uppity." When a black night watchman intervened, Cobb pulled out a knife and stabbed him." Later, "He [Cobb]announced his retirement and headed home to Augusta, Georgia. Shortly thereafter, Tris Speaker also retired as player-manager of the Cleveland team. The retirement of two great players at the same time sparked some interest, and it turned out that the two were coerced into retirement because of allegations of game-fixing brought about by Dutch Leonard
, a former pitcher of Cobb's. Leonard accused former pitcher and outfielder Smoky Joe Wood
and Cobb of betting on 1919... in a Tiger-Cleveland game played in Detroit on September 25, 1919, in which they allegedly orchestrated a Detroit victory to win the bet. Leonard claimed proof existed in letters written to him by Cobb and Wood. Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis
held a secret hearing with Cobb, Speaker, and Wood. A second secret meeting amongst the AL directors led to Cobb and Speaker resigning with no publicity; however, rumors of the scandal led Judge Landis to hold additional hearings. Leonard subsequently refused to appear at the hearings. Cobb and Wood admitted to writing the letters, but they claimed it was a horse racing bet, and that Leonard's accusations were in retaliation for Cobb's having released Leonard from the Tigers to the minor leagues
. Speaker denied any wrongdoing. On January 27, 1927, Judge Landis cleared Cobb and Speaker of any wrongdoing because of Leonard's refusal to appear at the hearings."). If the HOF is about baseball, Pete should be there.
No doubt many of us were crushed when we finally realized what Pete did. But Cincinnati hasn't been asked to give back the 1975 or 1976 World Championship trophy.... or the 1990 one obtained by a team that Pete had helped put together in 1987-89. Pete hurt Cincinnati, but he was also a key to winning three World Championships.
Pete Rose was a great baseball player, even though he is a deeply flawed human being.