It’s been nearly a quarter-century since Pete Rose received a lifetime ban from the game of baseball for betting on games. The ruling was handed down on August 25, 1989, making tomorrow the anniversary of the contentious decision to throw the league’s leader in hits out of the game forever.
With Rob Manfred coming into the league and replacing Bud Selig heading into next season, Rose says that he hopes the new commissioner will give him a second chance and reverse the ban.
In an interview with ESPN’s Jeremy Schaap, Rose commented on his ban and Manfred’s hiring:
“I’ve been led to believe America is a forgiving country, and if you do the right things – keep your nose clean, be a good citizen, pay your taxes, do all the things you’re supposed to do – eventually you’ll get a second chance,” Rose said.
He was also asked what he would say to Manfred if he had the chance to speak with the incoming commissioner about his lifetime ban.
“I wish some way in your heart you’d find an opportunity to give me a chance, a second chance, because if you don’t, I’m still going to sell baseball like no one else you have working in the game,” Rose said.
It would seem that 25 years is long enough considering that Rose was only found to have bet on, not against, his own team. It’s time to let one of baseball’s most storied and successful players of all time back into the game.