He may be barred from the National Baseball Hall of Fame, but Pete Rose has found his place right at home. The Cincinnati Reds will induct him into its Hall of Fame on the June 24-26 weekend.
The Reds had heretofore aligned with the National Baseball Hall of Fame’s rule that banned entry to a player on the commissioner’s permanently ineligible list. But the Reds’ Hall of Fame board of directors decided to choose Rose as their only inductee for 2016 and skip the normal voting process.
On Tuesday, Rose, Reds president and chief executive officer Bob Castellini, and Reds Hall of Fame director Rick Walls held a press conference at which Castellini stated, “Inducting Pete into the Reds Hall of Fame will be a defining moment in the 147-year history of this storied franchise. He is one of the greatest players to ever wear a Reds uniform and it will be an unforgettable experience watching him being honored as such.”
Walls added, “Pete Rose’s on-field achievements and impact on the Reds and its fan base are unquestionable and worthy of induction into the Reds Hall of Fame. We look forward to this summer where, in front of his fans and with his teammates, ‘Charlie Hustle’ will be recognized for his contributions to the rich and distinguished history of the Reds.”
Rose, a native of the city, said, “This is an honor, that you can’t just believe how you feel.” The Reds will create a statue in his honor; when asked what it should look like, Rose joked, “Well, I sure as hell don’t want it to be me standing at the $2 window at Turfway.”
The Reds’ Hall of Fame and the Reds’ Great American Ball Park have honored Rose in different ways. The park is situated on Pete Rose Way but that is not the park’s mailing address. Until last year, there was a picture of the bat and ball from Rose’s 4,192nd hit, the one that broke Ty Cobb’s all-time hits record, on the outside of the stadium. At the team’s Hall of Fame, despite the fact that Rose has not entered as yet, a rose garden sits outside and a wall of 4,256 baseballs, one for each of Rose’s career record hits, sits inside.
In December, Rose’s request to be reinstated to baseball from his place on the permanently ineligible list was rejected by Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred.