© St. Petersburg Times, published December 22, 2002
I can think of a few places where Pete Rose belongs. The Baseball Hall of Fame is not one of those places.
At the time of his "fall from grace" because of accusations of gambling against his team, he very well could have taken the true gentleman's avenue toward redemption. But, no, his ego plus his addiction to gambling prevented this option. At the time -- it's too late -- he owed the American public an apology, which would have gotten him off the hook.
But he chose to remain obstinate and metaphorically thumbed his nose at everyone. It was poor and childish judgment for a man of his stature and standing.
I was a big fan of Rose during that chapter in baseball history. I remember reading his nasty rebuttals to the accusations leveled against him. His defiant attitude made me want to throw up and still does.
To put Rose into the Baseball Hall of Fame would defame every name there. To have his exploits displayed with such greats as Joe DiMaggio, Johnny Mize, Johnny Bench and "Smokey Joe" Page would be a travesty and a perversion of the American pastime.
-- Fred D. Pursley, Seminole
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