The infamous "Charlie Hustle" is asking for another chance.
Former Cincinnati Reds player and manager Pete Rose has sent a letter to Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred requesting, once again, to be considered for inclusion in the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.
Rose, who had a record-setting 4,256 hits during his career, was barred from enshrinement in Cooperstown in 1991 after MLB attorney John Dowd released a report and evidence alleging that Rose had gambled on baseball games, including while managing the Reds. According to MLB rules, managers, players and anyone in key positions are prohibited from betting on baseball in any way.
For years, Rose insisted that he did not bet on or against the Reds or any other MLB team and filed multiple lawsuits to stop Dowd's investigation. The MLB placed Rose on the league's permanent ineligible list on Aug. 24, 1989. Rose later applied multiple times to have various MLB commissioners reinstate him, but he continually has been denied. Rose has also petitioned the Baseball Hall of Fame to consider him for inclusion multiple times, but has been turned down.
In 2004, Rose finally admitted that he had, indeed, gambled on baseball.
But none of that has stopped him from asking Manfred for Hall of Fame honors one more time.
In his recent letter to the commissioner, published by TMZ, the 81-year-old Rose writes: "I have apologized many times, both for betting on baseball games while managing the Cincinnati Reds and then for denying that I did," adding at his "age" he wants to be "100% sure" Manfred knows he means it.
He also writes about how sorry he is for disappointing Reds fans and baseball fans in general, saying, "That I let them down and brought shame to the sport we all love is something I think about every single day."
"Despite my many mistakes, I am so proud of what I accomplished as a baseball player — I am the Hit King and it is my dream to be considered for the Hall of Fame," he continues.
The timing of the letter serendipitously comes as sports betting finally becomes legal in Ohio, and Rose has been tapped to be the local face of the change.
Rose will lead the festivities in Cincinnati, ringing in the new year at the upcoming Hard Rock Sportsbook, the Hard Rock Casino Cincinnati's betting facility. Rose will place the venue's first legal bet at 12:01 a.m. on Jan. 1, Ohio's universal start date for legal online and in-person sports gaming.
And while Rose's letter to the MLB is a soliloquy of remorse for his actions, he makes no comment about the allegations that he initiated a sexual relationship in 1973 with a girl who was younger than 16 years old.
Many baseball experts agree that under normal circumstances, Rose would be a lock for the Baseball Hall of Fame. According to Rose's website, he owns Major League Baseball records for the most career hits, games played, at-bats and hitting streaks of 20 or more games, among others. He also had played 500 games each at five different positions: first base, second base, third base, left field and right field.
He was part of the "Big Red Machine" of the '70s — the Cincinnati Reds era that earned the team multiple division and league titles and two World Series wins. Rose went to the Philadelphia Phillies in 1979 and then to the Montreal Expos. He returned to Cincinnati as a player-manager from 1984-1986, retiring as a player in 1986.
Rose was inducted into the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame and Museum in 2016.
Read Rose's full letter to Commissioner Manfred below:
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