Pete Rose’s latest bid to gain entry into the National Baseball Hall of Fame was thwarted as the organization's board voted not to alter the rule that has kept baseball’s all-time hit king out of Cooperstown.
Attorneys for Rose sent a letter to Hall President Jeff Idelson in September to request a reexamination of Rule 3E, unofficially known as the "Pete Rose Rule.” The board voted in December to keep the rule that states any player on baseball’s ineligible list could not be considered for induction.
“After extensive discussion, a vote was taken in which the board ratified the resolution that was passed on February 4, 1991, known today as Rule 3(E) in the election rules. As such, anyone deemed permanently ineligible by Major League Baseball, including Pete Rose, may not be considered for election to the Baseball Hall of Fame,” the Hall said in a statement.
The Los Angeles Times was the first to report Wednesday evening that the Hall board declined to change the rule.
Rose was issued a lifetime by then-commissioner Bart Giamatti in August 1989 after investigators determined Rose had gambled on Cincinnati Reds games while he was manager of the team. Rule 3E was created about 18 months later.
“It s unfortunate,” Ray Genco, one of Rose’s lawyers, said in an email to USA TODAY Sports on Thursday. “My heart says it's unfortunate because Pete, his style of play, those he's inspired, are fundamental and important to the fabric of baseball. With the passage of time we should be able to forgive.
“But my head -- and logic -- find it unfortunate for more compelling reasons. It's unfortunate that the Hall of Fame is maintaining the ex post facto 1991 'Pete Rose Rule' -- the rule is in derogation of the 1989 Giamatti agreement terms and ignores established process by taking the vote away from the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.”
The Reds are scheduled to unveil a statue of Rose outside of the main gate of its Great American Ball Park on Saturday.