Baseball's all-time hits leader Pete Rose has asked the National Baseball Hall of Fame to reconsider a rule that blocks his chances of enshrinement, according to a letter obtained by Yahoo! Sports.
Rose received a lifetime ban from commissioner Bart Giamatti for betting on baseball in 1989. Rose believes that has been kept off the Hall of Fame ballot unjustly.
A rule barring permanently ineligible players from enshrinement in the Hall has been in place since 1991.
Last December, Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred decided not to lift Rose’s lifetime ban from baseball.
"It is not part of my authority of responsibility here to make any determination concerning Mr. Rose’s eligibility as a candidate for election to the National Baseball Hall of Fame," Manfred said in his decision. "In fact, in my view, the considerations that should drive a decision on whether an individual should be allowed to work in Baseball are not the same as those that should drive a decision on Hall of Fame eligibility."
But Rose's attorney agrees with Manfred, maintaining a banishment from baseball has nothing to do with the Hall of Fame and its induction process.
"At the time Pete agreed to the settlement, the consequences of being placed on the ineligible list were clear and specific – and did not include a Hall of Fame prohibition," a letter written by Rose's lawyers said.
"No one associated with the game other than Pete has ever been categorically denied eligibility from day one after the conclusion of his career for actions having nothing to do with the way they played baseball," the letter adds, commenting on the case of Shoeless Joe Jackson, who was banned from the game in 1921, but still appeared on Hall of Fame ballots.
Rose, 75, is also baseball's all-time leader in at-bats, plate appearances and games played.
– Scooby Axson