You may never find Pete Rose’s face in the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame, but you do frequently see his mug on TV alongside Frank Thomas, Alex Rodriguez, and Kevin Burkhardt. Now, if your travels next summer take you to the Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati, you’ll see a statue of him.
According to a Reds press release, “The Cincinnati Reds have announced a statue of Reds Hall of Famer Pete Rose will be unveiled and dedicated outside of Great American Ball Park on Saturday, June 17, 2017.
“The Rose statue will be the fourth at the ballpark honoring members of the Big Red Machine and will join statues of Johnny Bench, Joe Morgan and Tony Perez, all sculpted by local artist Tom Tsuchiya.”
In the statement, Reds Chief Operating Officer Phil Castellini said, “The statue of Pete Rose will be the finishing touch on the celebration of Pete here at Great American Ball Park. We had the honor of inducting him into the Reds Hall of Fame and retiring his number in 2016, and I know Pete is looking forward to his statue joining his Big Red Machine teammates on Crosley Terrace.”
Put Rose’s induction into the Reds Hall of Fame together with his Fox gig, his number retirement, plus a statue, and you’ve got the makings of one heck of a late-life reclamation project. Also, slowly but surely these moves have the effect of backing MLB into a little bit of a corner. Will the mounting number of honors and accolades that Rose receives eventually force MLB’s hand and cause them to relent on letting Rose in the Hall of Fame? Maybe, maybe not.
Regardless, Rose has been money on the Fox show. Unlike college football, the NFL, and the NBA, baseball has never truly had a pregame show that reached anything close to must-see TV. Rose’s completely honest and unscripted style provides all the awkward and passionate off-the-cuff banter that made the NBA on TNT so successful. Not surprisingly, this has some comparing Rose to TNT’s Charles Barkley.
Many still have issue with Rose for breaking baseball’s biggest written rule and will never agree to allow him into MLB’s Hall of Fame. However, if Seattle can host a statue of Vladimir Lenin, why can’t Cincinnati raise one of Pete Rose?
Follow Dylan Gwinn on Twitter: @themightygwinn