Pete Rose has requested National Baseball Hall of Fame officials to reconsider the bylaw that blocks his candidacy from enshrinement – a recent letter argues for his inclusion on future ballots.
Nine months after commissioner Rob Manfred refused his play for reinstatement in Major League Baseball, Rose uses judgments from Manfred’s ruling – especially that Rose’s position on baseball’s Ineligible List was separate from his Hall of Fame qualifications – to build a case for his inclusion on a ballot.
Signed and written Raymond Genco, by Rose’s longtime attorney, and former ACLU lawyer Mark Rosenbaum, the letter is the first step in Rose’s latest attempt at enshrinement after his ban for betting on baseball.
Based on the letter, “At the time Pete agreed to the resolution, the consequences of being placed on the ineligible list were certain and clear – and did not include a Hall of Fame prohibition.”
Rose accepted provisions of the arrangement on Aug. 24, 1989. Giamatti died eight days later. In February 1991, before Rose would have appeared on the ballot, the Hall of Fame created Rule 3(e), which barred forever ineligible players from enshrinement. Rose has not appeared on a ballot place before the BBWAA or subsequent committees (the Growth Age committee, for one) intended to further consider the candidacies of players who fell short on BBWAA votes.
Lawyers Genco and Rosenbaum contend, “… No one associated with the game other than Pete has been categorically denied qualification after the conclusion of his career from day one for activities having nothing related to the way they played baseball.”
They note the case of “Shoeless” Joe Jackson, who appeared on following Hall of Fame ballots and was banned for life in 1921.
In Manfred’s decision in December to uphold Rose’s life ban, he stated, “It isn’t part of my power of duty here to make any conclusion concerning Mr. Rose’s qualification as a nominee for election to the National Baseball Hall of Fame. The truth is, in my view, the factors that should drive a judgement on whether an individual should be permitted to work in Baseball are not precisely the same as those that should drive a decision on Hall of Fame qualifications.”…
The Hall president, Idelson, responded in a statement, “Pete Rose remains ineligible for Hall of Fame consideration, based on the Hall of Fame’s bylaws, which preclude any person on baseball’s ineligible list from being contemplated for election.”
The first direct and official communication between the banished Rose (and his lawyers) and the Hall of Fame marks a change in strategy for the longtime Cincinnati Red whose baseball credentials clearly are Hall worthy. Previously Rose enshrinement, had sought reinstatement. He now requests the Hall reassess – or “[amend] in a small way” – Rule 3(e) based on several variables.
Late in a life that held one of the great playing careers in the game’s history, his reputation soiled because of his gambling as a field supervisor, he asks the Hall to separate his actions as a player from those as a supervisor, when he’s alleged to have bet on baseball and on Reds games.