Pete Rose to speak to award-winning high school athletes


It’s been quite a week for Pete Rose so far. Yesterday the Reds announced that Rose will be inducted into their team Hall of Fame and will have his number retired this year, bypassing the usual election process. Probably because he’d be no sure thing to be elected under the usual procedures. But hey, you do such things for legends. ESPECIALLY in years when you know your team is going to stink and you want a guaranteed sellout on some day in June when you might only otherwise draw 16,257 fans, many disguised as seats.

Today we learn that Rose will get another honor of sorts: He will be the speaker at the inaugural Cincinnati Enquirer Greater Cincinnati High School Sports Awards, which honors All-Star high school athletes from southwestern Ohio and northern Kentucky, as chosen by the Enquirer.

The athletes being honored get in to the dinner ceremony free. Their guests have to pay $50 a head. I’m sure getting a famous speaker like Pete Rose will help up the head count for the banquet, especially when you realize that it’s really for the paying guests, not the students, almost all of whom were born a decade after Rose was banished from the game. But hey, it’s for a noble cause:

The reason for the new awards is simple: High school athletics are central to life in our public, private and Catholic schools and in our communities. Whether it be Friday night at the football field or a Tuesday night in the gym for a girls basketball matchup, interscholastic sports promote achievement in our young people and passion among students, parents and alumni.

And who better to celebrate and speak about achievement and passion in youth sports than a guy who was banned from the sport he loves more than anything else in the world for unscrupulous behavior.

Reds bypass election process to put Pete Rose in team Hall of Fame


Pete Rose may never get into Cooperstown, but the Reds announced that MLB’s all-time hits leader will be inducted into their team Hall of Fame in late June … nearly 30 years after his final game in Cincinnati.

C. Trent Rosencrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports that in doing so the Reds will be “bypassing the usual election process and changing its rule that had matched the rule of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, barring those on baseball’s permanently ineligible list from induction.”

Why now, when the Reds could have bypassed those team Hall of Fame guidelines for induction at any point in the past three decades? It’s unclear, but in a statement released to the media Reds president Bob Castellini said Rose going into the team Hall of Fame “will be a defining moment in the 147-year history of this storied franchise.”

Rose was permanently banned by MLB in 1989 and last month commissioner Rob Manfred announced that he would not be overturning the ban, citing Rose’s failure to change his ways and lack of understanding about the situation in general. Rose held a press conference in Las Vegas the next day to address Manfred’s decision. Perhaps a new commissioner making it clear that Rose wouldn’t be getting into Cooperstown motivated the Reds to put Rose into their team Hall of Fame now, rather than, say, 1996 or 2006.

Rose will be the 86th player inducted into the team Hall of Fame and Rosencrans speculates that the Reds will also soon build a statue of him outside the ballpark as they’ve done with other star players like Joe Morgan and Johnny Bench.

The Top 25 Baseball Stories of 2015 — #13: Pete Rose finally gets his appeal. And loses it.


We’re a few short days away from 2016 so it’s a good time to look back at the top 25 baseball stories of 2015. Some of them took place on the field, some of them off the field and some of them were creatures of social media, fan chatter and the like. No matter where the story broke, however, these were the stories baseball fans were talking about most this past year.

There’s an argument to be made that Pete Rose became more famous as a result of his being permanently banned from baseball in 1989 than he would’ve been if he never broke baseball’s gambling rules. Eventually, as all managers are, he would’ve been fired. Maybe he’d get one more job someplace outside of Cincinnati, but by the turn of the century or so he’d likely be some special assistant for the Reds, showing up at spring training and public events and the like. He’d be the Midwestern Tommy Lasorda. It’s a nice gig if you can get it, but it’s not the sort of thing that leads to big headlines, books and the rapt attention of radio listeners and readers of sports news. To this day Rose still gets that sort of attention, however, and it’s largely a function of his 26-year fight to be reinstated.

For a long time Rose claimed he was an innocent man. Then, when there was book money to be made, he admitted he was not an innocent man, but stopped short of admitting he bet on baseball as a player. Eventually news came out that, yeah, he probably bet on baseball as a player too. All the while Rose alternated between lamenting and making money off of his infamy. Not an ideal, but for Rose, also a good gig. At least a lucrative one. His autograph and appearance fees are much larger than they would’ve been if he was like any other old ballplayer.

Early this year Rob Manfred took over as baseball’s new commissioner and, unlike the old one, declared that he would give Rose a shot at reinstatement. Not a great shot, really. Manfred was under no obligation to review Rose’s case and made no suggestion that it was likely Rose’s ban would be overturned, but it was more of a shot than Rose had gotten since 1989.

Rose blew that shot. On December 14 Manfred ruled that Rose’s ban would not be overturned and that permanent would continue to mean exactly that.

Manfred’s decision made it abundantly clear that Rose, as recently as this summer, when his case was being reviewed, continued to lie about betting on baseball as a player as opposed to just while a manager. He said that Rose has no apparent understanding of how serious his past violations of baseball’s anti-gambling rules were and that he had done absolutely nothing to change his habits as a person which would suggest he wouldn’t continue to break those rules if he were reinstated.

Rose responded defiantly to all of this in a Las Vegas (natch) press conference the following day, but added nothing new. After so many years in the wilderness — almost as many years as he spent in Major League bBaseball, actually — he probably doesn’t know how else to respond.

And so Pete Rose beats on, a sternwheeler gambling boat against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.