30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Monday, October 3, 2011

Have you forgiven Pete?

I was hanging out with my parents a couple of months ago and we started reminiscing about my childhood. Eventually the topic of how strict my father was when I was little became the popular topic.

Now... before you get the wrong idea... let me say that my father is my idol and if I had children myself... I'd raise them like he raised me and my siblings.

Papa Fuji lives his life by a certain code of conduct... one that values respect, loyalty, honesty, responsibility, perseverance, humility, benevolence, and honor. And he instilled these character traits into all of us.

Nevertheless... one thing I've noticed is... the old samurai warrior within him has softened with age. My niece raised her voice to her dad (my brother) and he immediately put her in check. Later when only the adults were around, my dad gave my brother a hard time about being too tough on my niece... which shocked all of us... because my father would have introduced us to the belt had we done the same to him. This eventually led to a long and interesting... late night discussion on a great many things... which I won't bore you with.

One thing I do want to share with all of you is the fact that... I think I'm getting softer with age too. And Pete Rose is the prime example.

When Rose was banned from baseball back in 1989... I was upset and disappointed in his choices. What would possess the guy to bet on baseball and especially his own team? Then... to lie to everyone... including his fans for 15 years... that just made it worse. I'm glad he came clean in 2004, but the only impression that entered my mind was "he's only doing it to sell his autobiography".

As years have passed by... my opinion of Rose has changed... and recently I've decided that in my eyes he's paid his debt. What he did was wrong... and 22 years ago... it was unforgivable. But I'm older now and I'm less stubborn and more willing to forgive & give people second chances.

I'm not ready to induct him into Cooperstown. The fact is... he broke a rule and lied about it.

My father raised me to protect the family name and to make good decisions, because we can't change the past. However... he always reminded me that if we make a mistake, it's important that we learn from it. After reading his interview in The Sporting News (June 6th issue)... it sounds like Rose has learned his lesson. He's also apologized for his actions... which made me think: What else can he do to make things right?

I don't have the answer to that question... and I'm still debating whether or not MLB should lift his ban. What I do know is that his crime of betting on baseball is no worse than players using PED's. And if players like Alex Rodriguez and Roger Clemens eventually get inducted into Cooperstown... it's only fair that Charlie Hustle does too. Which leads us to our question of the day:

Have you forgiven Pete?
Do you think he's Cooperstown worthy?

Oh and before I forget... the above Pete Rose card is the only autograph that I own of the all-time hit king. I first read about the autograph on one of Wax Heaven's posts. Then Chris over at Project '62 picked up a "lot" of 10 sets of 1985 Topps Pete Rose, which contained an autographed card in each set. He turned around and offered them up for $28 shipped, so I jumped all over it and added myself to the list. If you're interested in reading more about the card you can read these two posts:

Have a great week everyone. I'm off to find the Yankees/Tigers game on the internet... since the Padres & the A's aren't in it, I'll be cheering for everyone except the guys in Yankee pinstripes. They have enough World Series titles... let someone else win it for once. Sayonara!


  1. In answer to your questions, yes, and YES. He was one of my favorite players as a little kid, always going all out. I don't think he should be able to work in baseball though, at least not as an everyday coach or in operations. The only thing I could see him doing would be as an instructor at a Spring Training facility. They pretty much operate those things year round now, with rehab and instructional work being done there. I most definitely think he should be in the Hall of Fame though; he's suffered long enough, and I'd really like to see him inducted while he's alive.

  2. This question is rather controversial, so I shall defer to Sir Paul:


  3. He will be at the Chicago Sun Times show in November and I'm having some stuff signed. Yes, he broke the golden rule and if Shoeless Joe isn't in then Pete shouldn't be either. That still doesn't change the fact he is the all-time hit king.

  4. I like Jason's suggestion about sprint training instructor...

    and I think he has paid the penalty through the years...and should be in HOF as a player (with a statement on his plaque saying that he was banned as a manager)


  5. Yes and yes. He was/is not a great guy but he was a Hell of a ballplayer.

  6. Here's my take on it. He knew the consequences, but did it anyway. He then proceeded to lie about it and deny it for years after being caught, until it made monetary sense for him to say he did it.
    I don't have any sympathy for the man. Yes, he was a great player, but he dug his own grave. The punishment is a lifetime ban, and I do think it sets a bad example to future players if you don't adhere to that. I think he should be in Cooperstown for his abilities, but not until after his lifetime. Shoeless Joe's lifetime is over, so let him in.

  7. jason - loved him as a kid too. how could i not? if only... if only.

    dayf - wow... thanks for the memories. loved that song growing up.

    schwang17 - the hit king indeed :)

    markz - hmmm... interesting idea about separating the player & the manager.

    carl - couldn't agree more

    community gum - you make a good point. as a teacher, it's important that we hold our students accountable. and that's where i'm torn. i've forgiven the guy, but at the same time he needs to be held accountable for his action. i guess we'll see where my opinion lies in forty years.