OPINION | Barry Richard: Pete Rose Will Never Earn Hall of Fame
Should character be a deciding factor in determining whether to admit a player into the Baseball Hall of Fame?
Within the guidelines for considering someone for the Hall of Fame, there is something generally referred to as the "character clause." It reads this way:
"Voting shall be based upon the player's record, playing ability, integrity, sportsmanship, character, and contribution to the team(s) on which the player played."
A lot of that is rather subjective, no?
Sports writers, who get to decide which players will be enshrined at Cooperstown, have a lot to consider these days, as aging players from the PED era are ballot eligible. Players with strong political beliefs, such as Curt Schilling, could run afoul with some writers in this politically correct day and age.
Perhaps the biggest debate in the modern baseball era continues to be Pete Rose. Will his gambling issues continue to keep this player/coach out of the Hall?
Some have argued that Rose should be judged by his on-field performance, and not his behavior off the field. I disagree. As long as the "character clause" remains a part of the litmus test for eligibility, Pete Rose does not meet the criteria.
Sadly, Rose hasn't learned much from his past mistakes.
TMZ Sports reports Rose, who earns a million dollars a year through selling autographs and personal appearances, is deeply in debt to the IRS and Las Vegas casinos.
Character is important. The whole person must be considered when we are selecting those we seek to honor for all time. However, our judgment must be grounded in common sense and distributed equally in a fair a measured way.
Pete Rose, while among the best to ever play baseball, does not measure up to the standards laid out for consideration for the Hall of Fame.