LAS VEGAS, NV - DECEMBER 15:  Former Major League Baseball player and manager Pete Rose speaks during a news conference at Pete Rose Bar & Grill to respond to his lifetime ban from MLB for gambling being upheld on December 15, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred on Monday announced that he was rejecting Rose's application for reinstatement.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Reds to unveil Pete Rose statue at Great American Ball Park next season

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The Reds announced in a press release earlier this week that the club will unveil a Pete Rose statue at Great American Ball Park on June 17 next year. Rose will be the fourth player with a statue at GABP, joining Johnny Bench, Joe Morgan, and Tony Perez.

Reds COO Phil Castellini said, “The statue of Pete Rose will be the finishing touch on the celebration of Pete here at Great American Ball Park. We had the honor of inducting him into the Reds Hall of Fame and retiring his number in 2016, and I know Pete is looking forward to his statue joining his Big Red Machine teammates on Crosley Terrace.”

Rose, 75, is baseball’s all-time leader in hits with 4,256. He helped the Reds win the World Series in 1975 and ’76, overall helping them reach the postseason five times in a span of seven years between 1970-76.

Rose has been working as an analyst for FOX for the past two years.

Video: Anthony Rizzo, David Ross reenact the famous Pete Rose/Bob Boone play

CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 30:  David Ross #3 of the Chicago Cubs and Anthony Rizzo #44 collide as Ross catches a foul ball in the fourth inning against the Cleveland Indians in Game Five of the 2016 World Series at Wrigley Field on October 30, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images
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In the 1980 World Series between the Royals and Phillies, Phillies first baseman Pete Rose and Bob Boone famously teamed up to catch a foul ball in the top of the ninth inning. Closer Tug McGraw found himself in a jam, having loaded the bases with one out on a walk followed by two singles. Frank White hit a pop-up near the first base dugout. The ball popped in and out of catcher Boone’s glove, but first baseman Rose alertly grabbed the ball with his glove before it hit the ground for the second out of the inning. From there, McGraw would memorably strike out Willie Wilson to clinch the World Series for the Phillies.

Coincidentally, a similar play happened in Game 5 of the World Series between the Indians and Cubs on Sunday night. Carlos Santana was batting with the bases empty and one out in the top of the second inning against Cubs starter Jon Lester. He fouled off a 93 MPH fastball to the right side, sending catcher David Ross and first baseman Anthony Rizzo towards each other near the first base dugout. The wind took the ball back towards the field. Ross leaned and attempted to make the catch, but like Boone, the ball popped out of his mitt. Thankfully, Rizzo was there to make the save to secure the out.

Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on your disposition), there was no astroturf on which Rizzo could’ve playfully bounced the ball after making the catch.

The Cubs were able to escape Game 5 with a 3-2 victory over the Indians to send the World Series back to Cleveland.

Pete Rose wrote a letter to the Hall of Fame, pleading to be placed on the ballot

Former Cincinnati Reds player and manager Pete Rose poses while taping a segment for Miami Television News on the campus of Miami University, Monday, Sept. 21, 2015, in Oxford, Ohio. (AP Photo/Gary Landers)
Associated Press
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Tim Brown of Yahoo has obtained a letter written by Pete Rose — well, written by his attorney — to the Baseball Hall of Fame, pleading to be placed on the ballot so he could be considered for induction by the BBWAA.

The upshot of the argument is that when Rose accepted his permanent ban from baseball, it did not include a ban from Hall of Fame consideration. Which, yes, is true. But it’s also true that soon after the ban, the Hall of Fame — which is a private institution, not owned by Major League Baseball — decided to change its rules and only allow those who are not banned by baseball to be on its ballot. That rule, 3(e), was enacted in February 1991.

Which is itself a tad disingenuous, as it’s long been clear that the Hall of Fame and Major League Baseball pretty much see the world the same way. The Commissioner and his close confidants are on the board of the Hall for cryin’ out loud. I have no doubt whatsoever that, if Major League Baseball wanted something of the Hall of Fame, it could get it and that if the Hall of Fame did something Major League Baseball did not like, MLB would make its displeasure known to the Hall and the matter would be remedied.

Which is to say that, yes, Rose probably has a good point or two in all of this and it would be interesting to know how the Hall came to adopt its “no banned players can be considered” rule and why and whether it had anything to do with MLB suggesting that the Hall do via its rules what MLB might not have gotten Rose to agree to in its own right.

But just because something is “interesting” does not make it meaningful. The Hall is a private business that can do what it wants. Major League Baseball is a private business that can do what it wants. There is no legal right to be eligible for the Hall of Fame and, even if Rose had some sort of legal theory — Fraud, maybe? Some sort of interference with economic opportunity claim? — it was one that should’ve been brought decades ago. And no, I don’t think he’d have a legal leg to stand on even if he had.

All that being said, I think Pete Rose should be in the Hall of Fame. I think that his playing career makes him more than worthy and his transgressions, while serious enough to keep him out of the game for life, should not stop a museum and the baseball establishment from honoring what he did between 50 and 30 years ago.

His letter won’t work, though. Because the same folks who decided he was not worthy of reinstatement last year have a lot of influence on the folks who determine who gets placed on a Hall of Fame balance. In asking for what he’s asking, Rose is asking for one of those parties to go against the other. And that has never, ever happened.