Pete Rose Should Be in the Hall of Fame
I think the Baseball Writers of America are intelligent fellas. They have kept guys like Jack Morris and Bo Jackson out of the Hall of Fame for some reason? Like Bo Jackson doesn't belong. He is the first player in the HISTORY of baseball to play on a replaced hip. Imagine what this guy could have done wit a full career. All-Star players on opposing teams would arrive early to the park just to watch Bo take batting practice. He was legendary and backed it up. He was only playing baseball because the Tampa Bay Buccaneers drafted him after getting him suspended during his senior baseball year at Auburn. He could have been the best ever in baseball OR football. He broke a bat over his knee! Even if he struck out, it was a show. He broke a bat off his helmet!
He was a player who made baseball great and mus see in the 80's.
Jack Morris wasn't a nice guy to reporters. He wanted to be paid like a big time pitcher. He was one of Detroit's best pitchers on the '84 World Series team. He threw a no-hitter in April of that year. Then after leaving Detroit. Jack started for the Minnesota Twins three times in the '91 series, going 2-0 with a 1.17 ERA, making his final outing in the deciding Game 7. The 36-year-old threw 10 innings of shutout baseball against the Braves, as the Twins won the World title on a 10th-inning single. Morris was named the World Series MVP for his fantastic performance, and joined fellow pitcher Sandy Koufax as the only players to win the Babe Ruth Award twice. He holds the record for most wins by a Twin in a single postseason, with four in 1991. He won 2 more titles with Toronto. On Tuesday, April 6, 1993, Morris set a major league record by making his 14th consecutive opening day start, an amazing feat considering he played on numerous title-contending teams. 259-186 in his career. 3.90 ERA with 2,478 strikeouts. But he was a jerk so he will not get in.
So, the baseball writers already lack credibility, with me at least. I would have both in.
Then, we come to Pete Rose. "Charlie Hustle, they called him. A career .303 hitter with a 44 game hit streak and 4,256 career hits. The most that will ever be in baseball history. He started his career in 1963 and played for 3 teams. In 1984 he became the player/Manager of the Cincinnati Reds. Later, he was suspended for baseball for life for gambling. He denied it and was a jerk about it for 15 years. Finally, he admitted he gambled on baseball in 2007. It's been about 8 years. Even his former teammate Tony Perez recently said "there is no reason Pete Rose shouldn't be in the Hall of Fame." Click here to read that. Pete Rose broke Ty Cobb's hit record.
Ty Cobb is in the Hall of Fame and he is, in my estimation, a sociopath who would have been jailed if not for his baseball uniform. Cobb once got sick of a fans heckling and jumped into the stands and began spiking the fan. The man had lost his hands in a work accident. The crowd told Cobb he didn't have any hands. Cobb said "I don't care if he has any feet!" He was a jerk and he is enshrined in Cooperstown. Um- Excuse me?
We have a bit of hypocrisy here.
To level this hypocrisy and open the door for Pete, we need to right a 95 year-old wrong and put Shoeless Joe Jackson in the Hall of Fame! Put this man where he belongs. Shoeless Joe was featured in the movies "Eight Men Out" and "Field of Dreams." The real life Joe was said to be an illiterate. They said you could close your eyes and know when Shoeless Joe hit the ball by the sound of the bat. He played for the Chicago Black Sox and was one of the 8 players who threw the 1919 World Series. Before you shake your head at Joe, look into it.
They were called the Black Sox because their owner Charles Comiskey was such a cheap bastard, he told the team they had to pay for the washing of their own uniforms. This isn't the millionaire baseball era we no now. Players worked second jobs back then. The White Sox refused to do this and wore dirty uniforms. They became known as the Black Sox when they would show up at the other teams park with dirty socks. Comiskey finally agreed to cover the washing... Then took the money out of the players World Series bonuses. They were struggling to make ends meet and worked for the modern day Scrooge. Joe hit .375 in the series but admitted in court he took 5 thousand dollars (he was promised 20). This wasn't about greed, it was about surviving and sticking it to Comiskey. In the end, the players never got all their money and played for keeps in the last few games but came up short. To this day, some still dispute Joe's involvement. Lots of players threw games to supplement their income back then and it was a common practice. Even the players questioned if the owners weren't fixing games. To boost profits, the 1919 series was the best of 9 games. Say it ain't so, Joe!
It was almost 100 years ago. Shoeless Joe has been the biggest Hall of Fame snub for 95 years! Until he is in I will continue my 41 year boycott of the Hall of Shame. Pete Rose can't get it. Jack Morris won't get in. Bo Jackson will NEVER get in and less and less people will go to Cooperstown every year. They all belong in.
Years after Joe was banned, he owned a liquor shop in South Carolina and Ty Cobb came to visit. "Don't you know me, Joe?" Cobb said. Joe said "Sure, I know you, Ty. I just didn't think anyone I knew up there wanted to recognize me again."
Joe should get to visit Ty Cobb soon.
I don't believe the millionaires of the baseball we know today will run out and start throwing games or gambling on their team. They make more than most bookies. These rules worked for their time to establish baseball's credibility, until the steroid era. Now, it's a different game and it's time to get Shoeless Joe in. Much worse things have been done by people already enshrined. Babe Ruth was a cheating drunk. Ty Cobb was said to "not enjoy the company of humans." If flawed characters are allowed in, what's the deal?
Put Shoeless Joe in so his spirit can finally rest in peace. I would love a picture next to the Shoeless statue. It's too late to honor Joe so he could have witnessed it happen. But it's not too late for Pete Rose, Bo Jackson and Jack Morris. What a joke.
Source material: Ken Burns Baseball, mlb.com and Wikipedia.