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

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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.