Letter: Pete Rose
The ceremonies before the second game of the World Series honoring the greatest baseball players of the century was wonderfully moving. I was especially pleased with the enthusiastic reception given to Pete Rose! If ever a player deserved to be in the Hall of Fame, it’s him. His alleged off-field activities had nothing to do with his playing ability and isn’t that what the Hall of Fame is all about – a player’s talents on the field? I’m sure not all the Hall of Famers have pristine pasts!
After the terrific ceremony, NBC completely ruined the mood by putting that idiot interviewer (Jim Gray) on the air with Pete Rose. His tacky questions and innuendoes were rude, thoughtless and completely out of sync with the tone of the ceremonies, and it did my heart good to hear Pete tell him so. It was neither the time nor place to delve into Pete’s past when he had just been honored (and rightly so) as one of the best players of the century! Mr. Gray ought to either take a course in sensitivity or get into another line of work. As an interviewer, he stinks!
In this era where a number of professional athletes who are druggies, drunks, batterers/abusers, or madmen who want to choke their coaches are given chance after chance to come back to these sports, why can’t Pete Rose be afforded the same opportunity? These people are a threat to others; Pete hurt only himself, and as far as I know, it’s never been proven he bet on his own team.
Judging from the applause Sunday night, it looks like the public is certainly willing to forgive him. Why doesn’t baseball?