AP Photo/Gary Landers

Check out this baseball Pete Rose signed for Donald Trump

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Playing to the Ohio crowd at a town hall in West Chester Township on Sunday, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump stumped for Pete Rose’s inclusion in baseball’s Hall of Fame. “We’ve got to let Pete Rose into the Hall of Fame,” the business mogul said.

Rose, ostensibly feeling gracious, signed a baseball for Trump. It said, “Mr. Trump, Please Make America Great Again.”

Donald Trump: “We’ve got to let Pete Rose into the Hall of Fame”

AP Photo/Carlos Osorio
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Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump was in West Chester Township in Ohio on Sunday, two days ahead of the primary. He held a town hall and spoke on a wide array of topics, including one of particular relevance here.

Per Cincinnati’s WLWT5, Trump said, “Pete Rose, let him in, right?” He continued, “We’ve got to let Pete Rose into the Hall of Fame,” as Jason Law of WCPO 9 reported.

Given the circumstances, it’s tough to tell if Trump was just playing to the Ohio crowd or if he genuinely believes in Rose’s Hall of Fame case. Rose, of course, was banned after admitting to betting on baseball. Rose maintains that he never bet on his team to lose.

Rose appealed his permanent ban, but commissioner Rob Manfred decided not to reinstate him in December.

Video: Pete Rose appears in TV commercial for sports betting app

AP Photo/Gary Landers
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When Pete Rose’s application for reinstatement was denied in December, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred wrote that the all-time hit king had done nothing to change his habits from when he violated Rule 21, baseball’s anti-gambling rule. In a stunning lack of self-awareness, Rose informed Manfred during their meeting that he continues to bet on baseball where it is legal. Now that his banishment from MLB has been upheld, Rose has apparently decided to double down on his reputation.

In a commercial that will air locally in Las Vegas during the Super Bowl, Rose helps promote the William Hill sports betting app. Former Las Vegas mayor Oscar Goodman is also featured. As you’ll see below, Rose’s ban for betting on baseball is used as the punchline.

It’s a clever spot. Rose is free to make a living, so if he wants to own his reputation at this point, that’s cool. No judgment here. While Manfred’s ruling seemingly left the door open for the Hall of Fame to make their own determination about his status, Rose might feel that he has nothing left to lose.

Rose has often used not being in the Hall of Fame as a form of self-promotion. We posted the commercial here, so it accomplished exactly what it was supposed to accomplish for all involved. But Rose also can’t act shocked why he continues to stand outside the gates. We’re all in on the joke, whether he wants to admit it or not.

(Thanks to Mark Townsend of Big League Stew for the link)