Pete Rose – Betting, Steroids and Character

Growing up in the 60s and 70s a lot of young boys and adults looked up to Pete Rose and his ability to play baseball. He not only was a very good player but he gave total effort when he was on the diamond. Pete never failed to disappoint and was always very enjoyable to watch him play the game.

Rose played mainly second base, third base, left field, and first base and he did it all with a lot of  flair and high energy. He played 24 years mainly with the Reds and the Phillies.

There is quite a story to tell about Pete who was born in Cincinnati on April 14, 1941. He was one of the fortunate players to be able to play major league baseball for the team he grew up supporting.

This conversation isn’t so much about baseball, because most people know the type of player that Rose was in his career. This is going to be about people and some of the bad decisions that they make in their lives. We have all made mistakes and we have to own up to them and try to correct our flaws.

I think what started baseball to crack down on any kind of gambling was the 1919 Black Sox scandal. I saw the movie Eight Men Out and need to someday read the book that the movie was derived.  Here is some good information on the Black Sox scandal of 1919.

Gambling is legal in parts of the United States and back when this was occurring, Nevada was where the action took place. It was legal for the American people or tourist to place bets on sporting events. Pete was using a bookie to place his bets that is how he got caught, with the paper trail. Here is an article that Rose admitted to only betting on his team the Reds.

 What transpired from MLB was the permanent expulsion of Rose from the game, I have always agreed with up until a couple of weeks ago. I started to weigh the different issues that have been taking place in the game, in the years since Pete has been expelled.

There was a player Steve Howe that was suspended seven times for alcohol and drug problems. Howe had so many chances to clean up that it ended up being a joke.

Hall of Famer Ferguson Jenkins got busted for possession of cocaine, hash and marijuana and only received a two week suspension.

Another Hall of Famer Orlando Cepeda one of my favorites was busted for drugs, and was still able to enter the Hall!

Gaylord Perry was known for being a spitball pitcher and even admitted to loading up. Everybody knew he was doing it and it was really quite comical. He got voted into the Hall of Fame in 1991.

Here is some more information on the spitball, and a little history.

There have been other MLB players that had drug and alcohol problems that were able to get second chances and more.

The latest event involves former MLB player Jack Clark and current player Albert Pujols. Jack Clark makes a statement that Pujols is a steroid abuser, and now there are all kinds of accusations and denials. I have written an article discussing this issue that needs to be read. This article and other links get more into the steroid and character issue.

On the steroid issue any known abuser should not be able to join the Hall of Fame fraternity! The cheaters must be kept out as they have done enough damage to the game!

I have a huge problem with liars! I don’t see how some people are able to sleep at night with how they live their lives. I was always taught and believe that when you tell a lie, God will pay you back somehow. This can mean stubbing your toe or twisting your ankle.

Rose was in complete denial for about 15 years on his gambling in baseball. I don’t see how it is possible to look a person directly in the eyes and lie! The commissioner’s office knew the truth and Pete went along with the lifetime ban. This was in essence meant that he was guilty of gambling on baseball. But he would still go out into public and say he was not involved in gambling on the game.

I believe that if Pete would have admitted from the beginning that he had a gambling problem. Then had gone out and received help and then apologize to MLB and the fans, he would have been forgiven.  I think the Hall of Fame in time would have allowed a vote and Pete would have been selected.

I think with some of the examples that I have given and a lot of players receiving second and third chances in the game, it is time for Pete Rose to come back to the game he loves! Pete when he wagered on games he only bet on his own team to win. Then he proceeded to bust his rear to win the game for the Reds.

Somebody with the love of the game like Rose would bring a lot to the table. If baseball would announce that they will allow Pete back into the game, he should take the microphone and apologize to the baseball world and say that he will make amends! He should agree to a two year probationary period to prove that he is worthy of being back in the game. He will need to donate time to youth baseball and give free appearances. After this has all been completed and Pete is in good standing, I would hope that the Baseball Hall of Fame would be open to Mr. Charlie Hustle!

Bob Brown


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