Do I think Pete Rose should be in the Hall of Fame?
Pete Rose has worked hard for 24 years to become a record holder for Major League Baseball. For that reason, and everything else imaginable in the way of accomplishments, I believe that he should be in the Hall of Fame.
There is another problem with that, however.
You see, the matters surrounding the evils of gambling against baseball are so complex; it would take months of research and understanding to clarify because of gambling's impact on baseball and how it changed the game irrevocably. I can tell you that the gambling in baseball around 1920 was so consuming that it led to the re-organizational efforts by every major and minor league organization in the United States and in Canada.
In this restructuring meeting was the most harmonious reception that baseball had ever experienced. The leagues up to this point were on the brink of a “war.” This restructuring of how the leagues were to conduct business changed drastically and the owners were not exempt nor protected. It was ensured that they would be held to the same standards as the players.
In the mist of all this commotion, Judge “Kennesaw Mountain” Landis, the Federal Judge who had placed the biggest fine ($29,000,000) in history in 1907 on oil magnate John D. Rockefeller, who was considered an untouchable and wealthy businessman, was called upon to arbitrate between the owners and rid baseball of gambling forever.
Emerging from this storm that had been brewing for quite some time, was Judge Landis. Up to this print, the owners could not agree upon anything and if baseball was to survive, a re-organization was inevitable. Landis was chosen by a unanimous vote from the sixteen club owners, and then later by the minor league executives, who all called on Landis at his Judge Chambers.
All of this threat of a baseball “war” was born on the heels of efforts to abolish gambling in baseball. It was what the foundation of installing the commissioner’s office was designed for.
Mr. Selig can never re-instate Pete Rose, nor anyone else banned for gambling - for that matter. That includes Joe Jackson. If he did this, it would undermine one of the sole purposes for which the commissioner’s office was established for in the first place.
And on the other hand, fans who are consumed by helping get Pete Rose in the Hall of Fame or be re-instated are really focus in the wrong direction. It is not Major League Baseball that wants to keep Pete Rose out of the prestigious shrine; it is the Hall of Fame itself that instituted the rule that you have to be re-instated by Major League Baseball before you are eligible. I believe that that rule was born out of the Pete Rose story.
Now Mr. Cobb, to correct a myth, never was considered the villain that he is portrayed today. Things are beginning to unravel for those who started this “characterless Cobb.” The truth about Al Stump and his lies and deceitful stunts to get rich off Cobb are creeping up on his own legacy. Stump was a fraud! He took advantage of Mr. Cobb.
If Cobb were alive during the Rose era, Cobb would have undoubtedly promoted Rose just like he did Willie Mays, Hank Aaron and others. Mr. Cobb was responsible for getting Aaron promoted to the big leagues, despite the fact that Aaron would have made it anyway. However, to have the Georgia Peach to go to bat for you would definitely be a sure hit.
Cobb would have gotten to Rose, mentally. He had that way with people. Even considering the ownership of the Cincinnati Reds, maybe Cobb would have been the only one Rose would have listened to, or looked up to, since they both were engulfed with such a combative nature on the field. Cobb would have been the first person to first base on that cool September evening when Rose passed his record.
The nine minute delay would have witnessed the passing of the torch between Rose and Cobb. Cobb would have been gracious in Rose's glory. It was a place that Cobb had enjoyed himself for so many years. Honus Wagner had been out of the game only six years when Cobb surpassed him on the all-time hits list when he got his 3, 421st hit in 1923.
On September 11th, 1928, Cobb played his last Major League game against the Yankees. Six days later, he announced that he was going to retire and he had played his last big league game.
"I prefer to retire while there still remains some base hits in my bat," said the 42 year old star from his hotel room in Cleveland, Ohio.
Fifty seven years later on September 11th, Pete Rose slaps Eric Show's pitch into right center field for 4,192. The ghost of Cobb that Rose had been chasing had been looking down on him and was satisfied that someone had actually done it.
The unbreakable record had fallen as quickly on that faithful night as the unsinkable Titanic did off the Newfoundland coast nearly a century ago.
Nevertheless, Cobb always maintained that records are meant to be broken and his was no different.
On the Hall of Fame induction, Cobb would have had a powerful and influential voice to say to the Hall of Fame executives, “Even if Major League Baseball does not want to re-instate Rose, you have the authority to allow him to be voted on."
"Let the writers do their job. Don’t burden the officials of either Major League with rules that they, nor the Commissioner, cannot change. Let Pete Rose be on the ballot, he deserves to be in the Hall of Fame.”
Ty Cobb or not, no one can deny that!
Comparison of two of the best hitters in baseball history:
|Stats||TY COBB||PETE ROSE|