And not just compared to the silly people who surrounded him! Here are the Hit King’s comments when asked by Gretta Van Susteren his thoughts about still not being in the Hall of Fame:
ROSE: Well, I’m on the ineligible list. I’ve never been on list to receive any votes. And I must tell you that I’m not in the Hall of Fame because I’m the one that made the mistake and screwed up, and I can’t sit here on your show or Sean’s show or Bill’s show and complain about anybody because I’m the one that messed up.
And in my situation, we just live everyday life and have fun and try to get a second chance sometime. I won’t need a third. If I ever get a second chance, we’ll see what happens as far as the Hall of Fame is concerned.
I’ve lost track over the years, but of all of Rose’s different stances (Innocent/defiant, innocent/contrite, guilty/defiant, guilty/contrite) I like this one the best.
And just for the record, let me reiterate my Pete Rose stance: I think he should still be banned from holding baseball operations positions, from scout, to couch to manager to front office, because I think his judgment and lack of appreciation for baseball’s rules represent a risk to the game. But I do think he should be allowed to work in baseball in an ambassador/fan relations/philanthropic/whatever kind of role, and I do think he should be in the Hall of Fame as a player because he was a hell of a player.
With the Dodgers trying to make it back to the World Series for the second year in a row — and trying to win it for the first time in 30 years — it’s worth looking back at the last time they won it. More specifically, it’s worth looking back at the signature moment from the last time they won it. Which, really, was one of baseball’s all-time signature moments.
Yep, I’m talking about Kirk Gibson’s famous game-winning home run off of Dennis Eckersley of the Oakland Athletics in Game 1 of the 1988 World Series, which happened 30 years ago tonight.
All playoff magic for anyone too young to remember Bill Mazeroski’s homer in 1960 is measured against Gibson taking Dennis Eckersley downtown to turn a 4-3 deficit into a 5-4 win. Heck, even if you were around in 1960, it’s far less likely that you saw Mazeroski’s homer than it was for you to have seen Gibson’s. Nationally broadcast in prime time to a nation of millions who had not yet fragmented into viewers of hundreds of obscure cable channels and various forms of streaming entertainments, it was a moment that sent shockwaves through the world of sports.
For my part, I was fifteen years-old, sitting in my living room in Beckley, West Virginia watching it as it happened. Like most of the rest of the country, I was convinced that the Dodgers had no chance to beat the mighty Bash Brothers and the 104-win Oakland A’s. Especially given that the Dodgers’ leader, MVP-to-be Gibson, was hobbled and not starting. Even when he was called on to pinch hit, I had no faith that he’d be able to touch Eckersley, the best relief pitcher on the planet, let alone hit the ball with any kind of authority.
But, as Vin said when he called it, the Dodgers’ year was so improbable that, in hindsight, it made perfect sense for Gibson to have done the impossible: