September 11 is a day which rightly lives in infamy. Of course, other, albeit less significant events have also happened, and will to continue to happen, on this date. My parents, for example, were married on this day. And 27 years ago today, Pete Rose broke Ty Cobb’s record for the most hits when he got his 4,192nd hit on September 11, 1985.
Yet, despite that amazing accomplishment, “Charlie Hustle” is still not in the Hall of Fame.
This should change.
Unlike the steroid users of recent years (many of whom will surely make it to Cooperstown), Rose didn’t cheat or try to gain an unfair advantage. He did break baseball’s cardinal rule against betting on baseball — and then lying about it — but (as far as we know), he always bet on his team (this is important, because it means he never intentionally “threw” or “fixed” a baseball game.)
This seems like a bit of a double standard. Players should be judged for their accomplishments on the field, and in this regard, Rose is certainly worthy. If we’re going to keep people out for being jerks or for immoral behavior, then Ty Cobb and Babe Ruth shouldn’t be there, either.
Rose played hard for the fans, and 27 years seems like a long enough sentence for his crime. Unless there is something we don’t know (and why wouldn’t they tell us?) it’s time to lift the ban and put the all-time hit king in the Hall.