Baseball and Philosophy: Thinking outside the Batter's Box

By Eric Bronson | Go to book overview

POST-GAME PRESS CONFERENCE
19b Should Pete Rose Be
in the Hall of Fame?
NO

MARK J. HAMILTON

On August 24th 1989 Pete Rose was banned from baseball for gambling on the game. Rose signed a document accepting the ban but not admitting any guilt. He was allowed to apply for reinstatement after a year. Since then baseball fans have been divided in their support for Rose.

I must begin by saying I love Pete Rose the ball player. Sure he was brash and cocky on the field. And most of us who are Cleveland Indians fans have never forgiven him for effectively curtailing the career of Ray Fosse by plowing him over in the All-Star game. But I was playing college baseball in S.W. Ohio in the 1970s when Pete Rose was the heart and soul of the Big Red Machine. The Reds were Rose's team and the people adored him. He was a hometown boy who became the contemporary symbol of overachievement and of how the game ought to be played: to win with every ounce of effort.

There is a strong argument, though, in support of the Major League Baseball's position that Rose should be banned. He bet on professional baseball and on the Reds while he was their manager. Is there evidence of Rose's violations? Baseball hired John Dowd, a former federal prosecutor, to conduct the investigation. Dowd calls the evidence against Rose “overwhelming.” He discovered evidence Rose had run bets through his friend, Paul Janszen, to a bookie named Ron Peters.1 Both of them tes

1 Derek Zumsteg, “Evaluating the Dowd Report,” www.baseballprospectus.com/news/
20021031/zumsteg.html.

-292-

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