Rose ap­peals to Coop­er­stown

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - SPORTS - By Mitch Stacy

Pete Rose is ap­peal­ing di­rectly to base­ball’s Hall of Fame to re­store his el­i­gi­bil­ity, ar­gu­ing the life­time ban he agreed to in 1989 was never in­tended to keep him out of Coop­er­stown.

A seven-page let­ter to Hall pres­i­dent Jeff Idel­son on Tues­day makes the case that the set­tle­ment agree­ment reached by Rose and then-Com­mis­sioner Bart Gia­matti didn’t in­clude a pro­vi­sion that he be in­el­i­gi­ble for elec­tion to the Hall of Fame.

“At the time Pete agreed to the set­tle­ment, the con­se­quences of be­ing placed on the in­el­i­gi­ble list were clear and spe­cific — and did not in­clude a Hall of Fame pro­hi­bi­tion,” ac­cord­ing to the let­ter, signed by Rose’s long­time at­tor­ney Raymond C. Genco and at­tor­ney Mark Rosen­baum.

The Hall of Fame changed its by­laws two years af­ter Rose’s ban­ish­ment to make per­ma­nently banned play­ers in­el­i­gi­ble for the Hall, which shut out the ca­reer hits leader as long as he re­mained barred from base­ball.

Genco is ask­ing the Hall to amend that by­law specif­i­cally to al­low Rose to be el­i­gi­ble for base­ball writ­ers to elect at their dis­cre­tion. He makes the point that the ban­ish­ments of Mickey Man­tle and Wil­lie Mays for their as­so­ci­a­tion with casi­nos didn’t af­fect their Hall sta­tus, and even Shoe­less Joe Jack­son had re­mained el­i­gi­ble af­ter he was banned from the game for ac­cept­ing money to throw the 1919 World Se­ries.

“We be­lieve that the in­sti­tu­tion of Base­ball will be strength­ened by this act of grace — an act that would give Pete Rose the same treat­ment that ev­ery other Ma­jor League Base­ball player and man­ager re­ceived through­out the first 55 years of the Na­tional Base­ball Hall of Fame,” the let­ter said.

In a state­ment, Idel­son said, “Pete Rose re­mains in­el­i­gi­ble for Hall of Fame con­sid­er­a­tion, based on the Hall of Fame’s by­laws, which pre­clude any in­di­vid­ual on base­ball’s in­el­i­gi­ble list from be­ing con­sid­ered for elec­tion.”

New base­ball com­mis­sioner Rob Man­fred in De­cem­ber de­nied the 75-yearold Rose’s lat­est pe­ti­tion for re­in­state­ment, but Genco said Man­fred “opened the door” by also stat­ing that it wasn’t Man­fred’s re­spon­si­bil­ity to de­ter­mine whether Rose should be el­i­gi­ble for the Hall. Pe­ti­tion­ing the Hall to change the rule, Genco said, was the next log­i­cal step.

Genco noted that Man­fred had al­lowed Rose to par­tic­i­pate re­cently in some cer­e­mo­nial ac­tiv­i­ties, in­clud­ing the re­tire­ment of his num­ber by the Cincin­nati Reds and his in­duc­tion into the Reds Hall of Fame in June.

“This play may only bring fur­ther scru­tiny to Pete,” Genco said. “He may not get in. It may open a mag­ni­fy­ing glass on Pete Rose’s trans­gres­sions, but if you look at it from a fun­da­men­tal fair­ness point of view, I think we have good foot­ing. We have a very rea­son­able ar­gu­ment where the board can take very rea­son­able ac­tion in their power to bring real clo­sure to this.”

Spokesman Michael Tee­van said MLB would have no com­ment on Rose’s lat­est ap­peal.

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