All-time hits leader Pete Rose’s application to have his lifetime ban overturned was denied by Major League Baseball on Monday.
Rose, who was banned from baseball in 1989 for allegedly gambling on games while playing for and managing the Cincinnati Reds, met with MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred in September to make a case for reinstatement.
However, the 74-year-old Rose, who has been ineligible for the Baseball Hall of Fame as a result of the ban, provided “little confidence” that he understood his wrongful conduct, accepted full responsibility for it or understood the damage he had caused, the Commissioner said.
“Mr. Rose has not presented credible evidence of a reconfigured life either by an honest acceptance by him of his wrongdoing, … or by a rigorous, self-aware and sustained program of avoidance by him of all the circumstances that led to his permanent ineligibility in 1989,” Manfred wrote in his decision.
“Absent such credible evidence, allowing him to work in the game presents an unacceptable risk of a future violation by him … and thus to the integrity of our sport, I therefore must reject Mr. Rose’s application for reinstatement.”
Rose had denied for nearly 15 years that he had bet on baseball, the game’s cardinal sin since 1919 when members of the Chicago White Sox conspired to throw the World Series.
He finally admitted in his 2004 autobiography to making baseball wagers when he was Cincinnati’s manager but said he never bet against his team.
Manfred said Rose could still participate in ceremonial activities that presented no threat to the integrity of the game, provided the events were approved by him in advance.
In July, Rose was honored prior to the MLB All-Star Game in Cincinnati and received a long standing ovation as he joined Hall of Famers Johnny Bench, Joe Morgan and Barry Larkin in being voted by fans as Cincinnati’s ‘Franchise Four’.
Rose, whose previous efforts to gain leniency from MLB commissioners were never considered, had earlier this year sent a formal request to have the ban lifted by Manfred, who succeeded Bud Selig as MLB Commissioner in January.
Rose, who grew up in Cincinnati and earned the nickname “Charlie Hustle” for his aggressive style of play while with the Reds, played from 1963 to 1986, amassing 4,256 hits, still the major league record.
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