Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times reports that the Baseball Hall of Fame has denied Pete Rose’s request to stand for election.
Rose had already been denied reinstatement by Major League Baseball. Theoretically, one can be banned from baseball and elected to the Hall of Fame, as they are separate institutions. Not long after Rose’s ban, however, the Hall of Fame changed its rules to prohibit any banned player from appearing on ballots. This move, most assumed, likely correctly, was aimed specifically at Rose. They may be separate institutions, but the Hall of Fame tends to land on all fours with MLB with most things and didn’t want to embarrass the league by giving Rose the honor of induction.
Not that Rose isn’t remembered by the Hall in some respects. As the article notes, there are plenty of Rose artifacts on display in the Hall of Fame. And Hall president Jeff Idelson notes, “[y]ou certainly can’t tell the history of baseball without including Pete Rose.” In this he’s like the PED-era guys who are defacto banned by the BBWAA yet still have their memorabilia on display and their feats chronicled in the museum.
As we’ve noted many, many times around here, if we were in charge, we’d keep Rose banned from baseball as he is utterly unrepentant about his very serious transgressions and has lied about them whenever it has served his interests, either personal or financial. While at 76 he’s not likely to be given a position of real responsibility in the game anymore, it’s not unreasonable to think that he’d be a bad influence if he’s allowed any authority over players. It’s not worth the risk, frankly.
That said: the Hall of Fame is about history, and Rose the ballplayer was one of baseball’s greatest figures. He deserves induction. His fans, of which there are many, would love to see it take place. That the Hall of Fame won’t even allow the possibility of that happening is a shame.