National Baseball Hall of Fame president Jeff Idelson told Outside the Lines on Thursday that in December, the Hall’s board of directors decided to uphold its rule that has effectively prevented consideration of Pete Rose, the career leader in hits, for induction.
According to a statement from the Hall regarding its board’s decision, “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 BBWAA’s 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 Los Angeles Times was first to report the story, in advance of a Dodgers series in Cincinnati this weekend during which the Reds are to unveil a statue honoring Rose on Saturday.
The board’s meeting via conference call was prompted, said Idelson, by a letter from Rose’s attorney seeking reconsideration. Rose, when he was the manager of the Cincinnati Reds, was placed on the ineligible list in 1989 by commissioner Bart Giamatti after Rose signed an agreement with MLB accepting a lifetime ban.
An investigation led by MLB special counsel John Dowd found that Rose had bet on baseball.
In 1997, Rose sought reinstatement to the game by commissioner Bud Selig, who never acted on the petition. And he tried again with Selig’s successor, Rob Manfred, who denied the request in December 2015. When Manfred ruled, he said the eligibility of Rose, now 76, for the Hall of Fame was a matter beyond his responsibility or authority, the considerations are different than decisions on who should be allowed to work in baseball and that any debate must take place in a different forum.