Gambling has become more and more acceptable in our society in light of the Supreme Court decision to strike down the 1992 law that prohibited sports betting in many states. In light of this, and Major League Baseball getting into bed with MGM Resorts, it’s time to welcome back Pete Rose into Baseball’s good graces.
Hall Of Fame Career
Pete Rose has the stats, hands down. Charlie Hustle ran hard on every play, and got on base in any way possible during a 24 year career. He ended his career as the all time leader in hits, a total of 4,256. That record still stands and will probably never be broken. He was Rookie Of The Year in 1963, MVP in 1973, won 3 batting titles, and was a 17 time All Star.
Betting On Baseball
Unfortunately for Rose, he bet on baseball. The Dowd report is thick in legalism. The bottom line is that Rose had no were to go in the onslaught of names, dates, phone calls, ect. Rose later admitted it in his 2004 autobiography My Prison Without Bars. Of course, he admitted betting on the Reds, but never against them while he was playing and managing them.
In the wake of the 1919 World Series betting scandal, incredible baseball name Kenesaw Mountain Landis, became Commissioner and banned 8 Chicago White Sox for life. The ‘no betting in baseball’ rule was born.
Lost in this was Landis used this opportunity to consolidate power in the game and become the first MLB commissioner. Are we sure there wasn’t all kinds of graft going on in that situation? After all, some see him as standing in the way of integration in baseball. Jackie Robinson didn’t break in until 1947, 3 years after Landis’ death.
It’s clear from this vantage point that Rose had, and probably still has, a serious gambling problem. This is a well known addiction and I would hope there would be more acceptance in our society today.
Baseball Is In Bed With Gambling
On Tuesday November 27th it was announced that MLB has agreed to have MGM Resorts International as their ‘Official Gaming Sponsor’.
What more do I have to say here? As the story states, financial details were not disclosed, but it’s clear this is a windfall for the league.
So the league can make millions off of sports betting, but Rose is banned? Sure, it’s a slippery slope, but while Rose had the Dowd report, there was a whole federal case around the Black Sox. These aren’t apple to apple comparisons.
Is it possible to let in Rose and then treat any other players caught gambling on baseball while they are playing or managing as individual cases? I believe it is. My point is Baseball has blurred the lines of gambling in the game as gambling has become more acceptable.
Rose is truly one of the greatest players of all time. Allow him back into the game and put him on the Hall Of Fame ballot.