Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred has elected to not lift the lifetime ban on Pete Rose, meaning baseball’s all-time hits leader will remain on the outside looking in on the Hall of Fame.
The news was first reported by Michael Schmidt of the New York Times.
The decision comes less than three months after Manfred met with Rose at MLB headquarters in New York City in September. Manfred, who took over as commissioner for Bud Selig in January, reportedly called Rose on Monday morning to deliver the news that the ban would not be lifted.
The issue has been a hot-button and divisive one among baseball fans and pundits alike since the events unfolded, and has sporadically flared up into sports headlines over the years. It was thought by some that the change in commissioner would go a long way towards reinstating Rose after multiple failed attempts and appeals over more than 25 years. Rose has been on the ineligible list since Aug. 24, 1989 and was voted onto the "permanently ineligible" list for induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1991.
When asked in an interview earlier this month by television station WCPO in Cincinnati, Rose seemed unsure which way Manfred was leaning on reinstatement. “You don’t know which way to read anything,” he said. “All I knew is, I was truthful to him, and he asked a lot of questions, and I had a lot of answers. We got along good, I thought.”
Rose was banned in 1989 after MLB concluded Rose had gambled on baseball while managing the Reds and even wagered on his own team. Rose accepted the ban and admitted wrongdoing but continuously denied betting on baseball through the years. Finally, in a 2004 biography, Rose admitted to wagering on baseball and on games he managed but claimed to never bet on his own team to lose. New evidence has since emerged, suggesting strongly that Rose didn’t only bet on baseball as a manager but as a player also.
Rose’s first attempt at a reprieve for breaking the cardinal rule of baseball, threatening the integrity of the game, came in 1992 in an appeal to Vincent, who was deputy commissioner under A. Bartlett Giamatti and took over the league office after Giamatti’s death just days after the Rose admitted to wrongdoing. Rose appealed again to Selig when he took office in 1998 but to no avail despite multiple instances where it appeared as though Selig was coming around to the idea of reinstatement.
Rose compiled the most hits in MLB history (4,256). He won three championships, three batting titles, an MVP, two Gold Gloves and made 17 All-Star games. If or when there will be another opportunity for reapplication to the Hall of Fame is unknown but as the years go by, Rose’s chances only seem to be getting slimmer and slimmer.
In recent years Rose has been permitted appearance at ballparks but cannot hold any official position with a team. This past summer at the 2015 All-Star Game in Cincinnati, Rose was on hand for a ceremony honoring him as one of the Reds’ “Franchise Four” players.