Fame comes at a price. Earning a spot in the Baseball Hall of Fame comes at an even greater one.
Just ask Pete Rose, former Major League Baseball player and manager. Though his stats clearly prove he is one of baseball’s all-time greats, Rose will likely never be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame Museum.
Why? Gambling. Rose’s permanent ban from baseball is due to a gambling problem he had during his career.
Is it fair to ban an athlete from such an honor because of a personal life problem? I think not. It may look bad, but it does not affect the game.
Did gambling help Rose become the all-time Major League leader in hits (4,256), games played (3,562), at-bats (14,053) and outs (10,328), as well as help him win several of baseball’s most sacred awards?
Simply put, no. His achievements came from pure talent. Rose did not give himself an advantage by using illegal drugs like the home-run kings of the 1990s.
Don’t get me wrong. He deserves to be punished for betting on his team. Banning him from the Hall of Fame, though, is going too far.
Can you imagine if every league or organization banned people who makes a few mistakes in life?
There will eventually be no one left to look up to, to look back on. Sure, the legends of old will still be there, but the greats of today will be forgotten.
Future generations will question whether making it to the big leagues is even worth their while. What if they play for 15 years and have one of the greatest careers of all time, but they made one poor decision in life?
We will just tell him, “Sorry, kid. That one little instability you have in your personal life, that one that doesn’t affect how you play the game at all, that is going to keep you from getting the honor you deserve.”
Who are we to deny anyone the glory they deserve, whether it be in the game of baseball or, more importantly, in life? It is easy for normal citizens to think athletes like Rose should never be inducted, because we are so far removed from that professional level of play, that national attention.
But translate that into common terms. Let’s say I am interviewing you for your dream job. I turn you down.
Why? Well, remember that time when you were younger, and you kicked that dog because you thought it was funny? I am denying you what you deserve because you messed up once in an unrelated area in life.
That is like Pete Rose’s gambling keeping him out of the Hall of Fame.
He is going to spend the rest of his life knocking at the door in Cooperstown. Instead of turning the deadbolt, we need to let him in.
Column by Ryan Richardson, Online Editor.