Pete Rose sent a letter to Major League Baseball last week asking to be reinstated, according to multiple reports.
Rose was permanently suspended from Major League Baseball in 1989 after wagering on games while in the league. Rose originally denied the accusations, but in 2014 he admitted to wagering as a manager.
“I have apologized many times, both for betting on baseball games while managing the Cincinnati Reds and then for denying that I did,” Rose said in the letter, which TMZ published.
Rose went on to say he was writing to MLB to apologize once again, to ask for forgiveness, and to be considered for the Hall of Fame. Rose, who will place the first legal sports bet at Hard Rock Casino Cincinnati on Jan. 1, 2023, when regulated sportsbooks launch in the state, yearns to be considered for the Hall of Fame.
Hall of Fame push
If not for the gambling scandal, Rose would certainly be a Hall of Famer. His 4,256 career hits are the most of any player in MLB history. He also scored over 2,000 career runs and played in an astounding 3,562 games during his 24-year career.
“I am asking for your forgiveness,” Rose said at the end of the letter. “Despite my many mistakes, I am so proud of what I accomplished as a baseball player – I am the Hit King and it is my dream to be considered for the Hall of Fame. Like all of us, I believe in accountability. I am 81 years old and know that I have been held accountable and that I hold myself accountable. I write now to ask for another chance.”
It’s clear that the 81-year-old wrote the letter in large part because he wants to be considered for the Hall of Fame. He also showed remorse for his wagering and wrote about how it impacted the sport.
In April, Rockies outfielder Charlie Blackmon quietly signed an endorsement deal with sports betting company. Above board. The Pete Rose question is grayer now. https://t.co/CKV1F35b2V https://t.co/Ww5BBcQUFf
— Nick Groke (@nickgroke) November 14, 2022
“I also know that I disappointed many Reds fans and baseball fans,” Rose said. “Besides spending time with my kids and my partner, there’s nothing that made me happier than playing baseball in front of the fans. That I let them down and brought shame to the sport we all love is something I think about every day.”
The public perception of sports betting has changed in recent years with widespread legalization across the U.S. Major League Baseball has notable partnerships with BetMGM, DraftKings, and FanDuel, as the league and its teams have leaned into wagering as a way to increase fan engagement.
Current managers aren’t allowed to bet on games, but it remains to be seen if widespread acceptance of sports betting could lead to leniency for Rose. He certainly hopes so.
Photo: Sam Greene/USA TODAY