Pete Rose once again asks for Hall of Fame consideration in letter to MLB

 

Pete Rose is the all-time MLB hit king with 4,256 hits — but he is not in the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Instead, Rose is banned from Major League Baseball, thus ineligible for the Hall of Fame, because he bet on baseball games during his playing and managerial career with the Cincinnati Reds.

Rose has applied for reinstatement four times, and has been denied each time, including as recently as 2020.

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Pete Rose speaks during a statue-dedication ceremony before a baseball game between the Cincinnati Reds and the Los Angeles Dodgers in Cincinnati, Ohio, on June 17, 2017.
(AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)

But he recently wrote a letter to MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred, asking to take him off baseball’s ineligible list.

“I have apologized many times, both for betting on baseball games while managing the Cincinnati Reds and then for denying that I did,” he wrote. “I am writing today for three reasons. First, because at my age I want to be 100% sure that you understand how much I mean it when I say that I’m sorry. Second, to ask for your forgiveness. And third, because I still think every day about what it would mean to be considered for the Hall of Fame.”

Rose noted that he “disappointed many Reds fans and baseball fans” and “it is among my greatest regrets that I let down fans who believed in me and who love baseball.”

“You can’t imagine how painful it is when I see my teammates from all the great teams I played on and players I played against go about their lives in ways I wanted to,” Rose wrote. “I want to be a part of that too and I know I probably never will. I am so grateful for the time I shared with them on and off the field. Nothing replaces it. People think you move on after you leave the game. You do in many ways. But the most important parts of baseball should grow even stronger. I screwed that up.

Former player and manager Pete Rose looks on prior to the 86th MLB All-Star Game at the Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati, Ohio, on July 14, 2015.
(Rob Carr/Getty Images)

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“I am asking for your forgiveness. Despite my many mistakes, I am so proud of what I accomplished as a baseball player — I am the Hit King and it is my dream to be considered for the Hall of Fame. Like all of us, I believe in accountability. I am 81 years old and know that I have been held accountable and that I hold myself accountable. I write now to ask for another chance.”

Rose was placed on baseball’s permanently ineligible list by then-commissioner A. Bartlett Giamatti — who served just five months as MLB’s commissioner before dying of a heart attack — in 1989, just one week before Giamatti’s passing. He denied the claims for years but finally admitted to betting on baseball and Reds games in 2004.

Rose had admitted he continues to bet on baseball, which has plagued him and his reinstatement hopes, but the Reds will open a BetMGM sportsbook in Great American Ball Park next year.

Rose has made several appearances at MLB stadiums over the years since being banned, the first being when he was named to the All-Century Team in a pregame ceremony before Game 2 of the 1999 World Series. He also appeared in a celebration for the 25th anniversary of him becoming the Hit King in 2010, as well as the festivities for the 2015 All Star Game in Cincinnati. This past August, he went to Citizens Bank Park to celebrate the 1980 Phillies, who won the World Series that year.

All-Century team member Pete Rose tips his cap after being announced with Henry Aaron, center, and Ted Williams before game two of the 1999 World Series between the New York Yankees and the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field in Atlanta, Georgia, on Oct. 24, 1999.
(DON EMMERT/AFP via Getty Images)

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Rose is a 17-time All Star and hit .303 over his career, during which he won three World Series.