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Throughout baseball’s long history, cheating has been as much a part of the game like hot dogs and home runs. From early spit-ballers, spiking players, corked bats, stealing signs, and an entire generation of baseball tainted by the steroid era, cheating has been in baseball since its inception. Most of these offenders get a slap on the hand, but Pete Rose, Cincinnati Reds former manager and player, got banned from the sport for life for gambling.
For decades now, Rose has been held out of the Hall Of Fame. He was found guilty of betting on games as manager of the Cincinnati Reds and was banned from baseball in 1989. Due to his ineligibility, Rose has been looking at the Hall Of Fame from the outside ever since.
Rose is MLB’s all-time hits leader (4,256), a three-time World Series champion, and a 17-time All- Star. He clearly has the credentials that prove his ability; however, his actions have sidelined him from the game’s most prestigious status: that of Hall of Famer.
In 2015, it was discovered that Rose also allegedly gambled on Reds games as a player. ESPN released a report in June claiming an investigation found Rose’s gambling was even more extensive than people had thought for years. This raises the question: who cares?
Given Rose’s monster numbers, it is a safe assumption that he never tanked a game. In 2004, Rose admitted to gambling on his own games, but it is hard to imagine he ever bet against himself and his teammates. The Big Red Machine, as his Reds were nicknamed, is considered to be one of the best teams of all time by many baseball historians. Even if Rose wanted to tank games, he would be foolish to bet against his three Hall Of Fame teammates (Johnny Bench, Joe Morgan and Tony Perez) and his Hall Of Fame manager Sparky Anderson. While still wrong, Rose was most likely betting on his own team to win as both a player and manager.
Like it or not, the baseball Hall Of Fame is filled with cheaters, and with more Steroid Era players retiring every year, it is likely to see many more in upcoming years. Gambling did not give Charlie Hustle the skills to craft himself into one of the best hitters of all-time, nor did it provide him with an unfair advantage over other players. Rose is one of the greatest players to ever play the game, and his absence in the Hall Of Fame