Originally Posted by westofyou
Everyone always mentions (and mostly Pete) that his "fans" want him in.
While that is true the fact is that if you are 35 years old or younger than you likely have a small memory to no memory of Pete the player.
One day his fans will be gone, one day the writers will be gone, one day though the only lingering memory some might have him is as a older ex player willing to sign anything with one hand while his other arm is draped around a big busted asian woman who is silently counting his daily take.
There is probably a great amount of truth in that note.
I am also reminded of something Bill James wrote about Shoeless Joe Jackson years ago. James basically wrote that Jackson's permanent suspension and ineligiblity to be inducted into the Hall of Fame was keeping his memory alive, and there is truth in that as well.
Tris Speaker was a contemporary of Jackson and arguably a better all around player, but the casual fan, to say nothing of the non-baseball fan, probably knows nothing about Speaker. Meanwhile Jackson is a central character in classic baseball movies and even non-fans know who he was.
Pete Rose was not the greatest player of his era but he may very well now be the best remembered. It may very well be that Pete's rather tasteless present day personal conduct will also be forgotten and all that will be remembered is that "Charlie Hustle" was forever banned despte all of his on field accomplishments, making a mythic tragic figure.
Full disclosure: While I stand by the arguments I made in the above post, the comment I recalled that James made about Jackson was actually a comment he made about Enos Slaughter in his original Historical Baseball Abstract published nearly 30 years ago. James noted how the long debate about whether or not Slaughter should be in the Hall of Fame had kept his memory alive, and that, having recently been finally inducted, Slaughter might then become forgotten.