Tag Archives: Baseball Hall of Fame

Let’s end the Pete Rose campaign for HOF

How about we simply give up trying to debate whether Pete “The Gambler” Rose deserves to be in baseball’s Hall of Fame?

I’ve grown tired of the discussion.

ESPN has aired a segment that revealed pretty conclusive evidence that Rose bet on baseball while he was playing the game, not just managing a team.


Didn’t the man dubbed “Charlie Hustle” deny all those years that he never bet on baseball while he played the game? Didn’t that stand as a possible qualifier that could get him inducted into the Hall of Fame?

Good grief. MLB’s rulebook is as clear as it gets.

Betting on baseball results in a lifetime ban. Pete Rose is still among us, last I saw. That means he doesn’t qualify for the hall.

He at first denied betting on games while he managed the Cincinnati Reds, where he played most of his career. Then he said, well, yeah I bet on games — but not on games involving my teams.

What else might we learn about this guy? He has said all along he didn’t bet while playing the game. That denial now appears headed for the crapper.

I understand fully that Rose got more hits than anyone else in the history of the game. I get that he played his guts out and got the most of the talent he had, which — truth be told — wasn’t as much as many other players of his era. He was a stellar hitter.

He also was a compulsive gambler — who broke one of baseball’s cardinal rules.

I know the Hall of Fame is full of racists, drunks, drug users, womanizers — and even a couple of pitchers known for throwing spitballs.

None of those sins, though, translates to lifetime bans.

Gambling on baseball? That’s the deal breaker.

Jeter deserves the accolades

Let’s talk a little baseball.

Specifically, let’s talk for a bit about Derek Jeter, the New York Yankees shortstop whose baseball career is about to end in a few days.

Jeter is retiring after 20 seasons with the Yankees and he’s been the subject of two interesting — and opposing — observations.

ESPN blowhard Keith Olbermann went on the air last night and talked about how tired he is of all the adulation Jeter has been getting. Well, whatever, Keith. You are not credible — to me, at least — to talk about anything. I will set your rant aside.

Then I read an Associated Press story this morning that suggests Jeter might be the first unanimous pick for baseball’s Hall of Fame when he becomes eligible in 2020.


I’m not going to jump on that bandwagon, either. Why? It has little to do with Jeter, who has had a stellar career and has behaved magnificently off the field as well.

It’s just that in the history of Hall of Fame voting, no one ever has gotten into the hall unanimously. Tom Seaver, the great pitcher, came closest. All the inductees have voters keeping them off their Hall of Fame ballots.

Looking back on all the years of baseball I’ve followed, I think the perfect candidate for unanimous induction would have been Henry Aaron, the great Milwaukee/Atlanta Braves slugger who chased down Babe Ruth’s all-time home run record. Hank Aaron remains — in my mind at least — the home run king, given that he didn’t banned substances that enabled him to break the record.

More than that, he faced down horrific racism from those who just couldn’t stand the thought of a white guy’s record falling to a black guy. Aaron conducted himself with great courage and grace in the face of that hatred and to this very day remains the model of gentlemanly decorum.

If anyone should have been elected with nary a “no” vote, it’s Hammering Hank Aaron.

He didn’t get there unanimously.

Jeter is one of the greatest Yankees ever. He stands next to the Babe, Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio and Mickey Mantle — four men who personified what it means to be a Yankee great. We can place Derek Jeter next to them.

Will he get to the Hall of Fame with a unanimous vote? Well, if Henry Aaron couldn’t do it, I cannot fathom how Derek Jeter gets it done.