Cooperstown Chronicles – Pete Rose

This one is a little controversial.  Obviously the numbers and awards make him a shoe in.  You’re either for Rose or against Rose.  Personally, I’m for him.

The Numbers
.303 Batting Average
3562 Games (1st All-time)
14053 At Bats (1st All-time)
4256 Hits (1st All-time)
2165 Runs (6th All-time)
746 Doubles (2nd All-time)
135 Triples (74th All-time)
160 Home Runs
1314 RBI (87th All-time)
198 Stolen Bases
1566 Walks (13th All-time)
167 Intentional Walks (26th All-time)
5752 Total Bases (7th All-time)

Playoffs – .321, 30 runs, 86 hits, 13 doubles, 2 triples, 5 HRs, 22 RBI

The Awards
1973 MVP
1963 Rookie of the Year
1975 World Series MVP
1968 Hutch Award
1969 Lou Gehrig Award
1976 Roberto Clemente Award
17 All-Star Game Appearances
2 Gold Gloves
1 Silver Slugger
MVP votes in 15 seasons

Top Ten Finishes
Batting Average – 13 times (3 batting titles ’68, ’69 & ’73)
On-base % – 11 times (Led league in ’68 & ’79)
Slugging % – Twice
OPS – Three times
Games – 15 times (Led league five times)
At Bats – 18 times (Led league four times)
Runs – 15 times (Led league three times)
Hits – 17 times (Led league seven times)
Total Bases – 11 times
Doubles – 15 times (Led league five times)
Triples – 8 times
Walks – 7 times
Intentional Walks – 4 times


Like I said, his numbers and awards were enough to make him a first ballot HOFer.  His ability, drive, determination, longevity, and consistency has never been called into question.  His character has though.  His character is what has kept him from being celebrated as one of the best balleball players of all time.  Betting on baseball is against the rules.  I get that.  However, his gambling came after his career as a player.  I agree with the ban on him from being employed by Major League Baseball, but what he did as a player should not be ignored.  He earned the nickname Charlie Hustle.  He proved himself to be one of the greatest this game has ever witnessed.  There are plenty of Hall of Famers with skeletons in their closets.  Racists like Ty Cobb and Cap Anson.  Drug dealers like Orlando Cepeda.  Cheaters like Gaylord Perry.  Soon members of the steroid era will make their way into the Hall.  It’s time to let Pete Rose in as well.  Here’s the way to do it though.  Don’t have the traditional ceremony.  Don’t let him do a speech.  Just put up his bust and do a press release.

If you think I’m off my rocker for wanting to induct Pete Rose into the HOF, please let me know.

Past Chronicles
Bert Byleven
Andre Dawson
Dale Murphy
Mark McGwire
Bobby Matthews
Tommy John
Buck O’Neill & Minnie Minoso
Jim Rice
Ted Simmons
Lee Smith
Jack Morris
Al Oliver
Steve Garvey
Jim Kaat