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Pete Rose deserves his spot in Cooperstown Hall of Fame

This has been a busy month in sports.  Michael Vick was reinstated to play football.  The Cubs have taken the lead in their division.  Terrell Owens reported to training camp.  Steve McNair was shot and killed.  David Beckham cursed out some fans and showed how much he likes the United States.  

All of these make up big news for sports fans far and wide, but none hold a candle to the ethical and moral implications of the biggest story.

Bud Selig is debating on releasing the lifetime ban on Pete Rose from Major League Baseball.


For those who don’t know, Pete Rose was a former baseball player who played a hell of a game.  He holds records for:

1) Most hits at 4,256

2) Most at-bats at 14,053

3) Most games played at 3,562

4) Most outs at 10,328

He also won three World Series rings, three batting titles, an MVP, Rookie of the Year, almost 20 All-Star appearances, and two Gold Gloves, as well as being a switch-hitter.  He also managed the Reds after retiring.

Pete Rose has the stats deserving of being in the Hall of Fame, yet he’s been banned from baseball by actions committed during his play and his managerial time for Cinncinati.

I’m talking about gambling.

Gambling in sports is widespread, with the only legal gambling allowed in Las Vegas, though Delaware is trying to make it legal there as well. Most people gamble in office pools, with friends, or use offshore gambling sites to place bets from the safety and convenience from their own homes.  Professional athletes, however, are not allowed to participate in the vice, no matter if they are better on a different sport entirely.

As has been shown in TV shows and even in real life, gambling among players and coaches can cause severe problems that threaten the integrity of the game.  Point shaving and throwing a game or fight are the first things that come to mind when this betting is concerned.  No one wants gambling to influence the outcome of a game that is supposed to be played with the spirit of the game intact, and the players all performing to their best abilities to achieve a victory.

Pete Rose bet on baseball.  Ironically, his case is completely different than the norm for gambling.  He was in a position to lose games, either by playing poorly or mismanaging.  He could have made a lot of money with simple shady deals to throw games or make sure a game was kept within a margin.  Instead, Pete Rose bet for his team to win.  Now that’s confidence.  It also did not do anything to disturb the quality of play, leaving the integrity of the game intact.  It may not be morally or ethically sound with the principles of the game, but the man did not threaten the integrity of the sport by compromising performance.  He wanted to make an extra buck on the side for his own good effort.

With that being said, if he is reinstated, there are those who will argue against his admittance into the Halls.  Sorry, but his stats alone should place his bust there among other big names in baseball lore.  If gambling is Pete Rose’s sin, then he should definitely be allowed entrance into the Hall over members already there who have done things like bashing a catcher over the head with a bat.

If Pete Rose can’t be admitted into the special section of Cooperstown for all those shady characters with great accolades in the sport, then the Hall of Fame is prejudiced indeed.

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