The Baseball Hall of Fame selection committee recently finished choosing this year's inductees, and the man who collected 4,256 hits will once again be conspicuously absent from the August ceremony. Pete Rose may have bet on baseball games, but that's no reason to keep him out of Cooperstown.
The Baseball Hall of Fame was not formed to honor good people. If it were, Mother Teresa would be a member, and Ty Cobb, a vicious player who once attacked a man with no arms, would not. The Hall honors players for their proficiency on the field. Pete Rose holds the career records for hits, at bats and games played. No organization can claim to enshrine the best players in baseball if it does not count Rose as one of its members.
Nicknamed "Charlie Hustle," Rose was an fan favorite who often adorned the covers of sports magazines and Wheaties boxes. Unfortunately, like many Hall of Famers, he was only a role model when he stood between the foul lines of a baseball field. The aforementioned Cobb was allegedly a miserable human being. Babe Ruth was purported to be an irresponsible drunk. Mickey Mantle was an admitted alcoholic. It is time for the Hall to stop pretending that it canonizes saints. It should elect Pete Rose to its ranks.