He is recognized as an all-time great in his chosen profession. Not only for the many records and accomplishments of his career, but also for the scandal that has stained his image. Can you guess who it is?
Thought I was talking about Michael Jackson, didn’t you? Not yet, at least. The man, in fact, is Pete Rose.
First off, Pete Rose deserves to be in the Hall of Fame … period.
Many say his past in baseball, the sport he played and gambled on, is reason enough to keep him from shining with other all-time greats. Others point to the fact that he has lied about his gambling for the past 14 years.
Major League Baseball certainly didn’t take the case lightly, banning him from the game for life, which has kept him from being inducted into the Hall. But they should remember he is more than just an average player.
Rose has the most career hits, with 4,256. He is also a 17-time All-Star, three-time World Series winner and was named both National League and World Series MVP.
I won’t run from the fact that his actions in the past have been questionable. I also won’t run from the fact that his actions have tainted the game of baseball.
But Rose, after 14 long years, has finally come forward and admitted that he bet on baseball. That is a big step in the right direction, whether you want to admit it or not.
Those who look to his gambling as a reason why he should not be in the Hall should not overlook the fact that it has other players with suspect off-the-field lives.
Ty Cobb was known to be a racist and used his spikes to intimidate the opposition as he slid into second base.
The Bambino himself, Babe Ruth, was a womanizer and heavy drinker in his day. But no one dares to question their existence in the Hall.
As far as I’m concerned, personal affairs are just that. He got paid to give 110 percent on the field. And that’s exactly what he did.
Lemont Calloway is Sophomore newspaper student from Chicago. He is an assistant sports editor for The Famuan newspaper. He can be reached at email@example.com