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Pete Rose To Be Welcomed Into Reds Hall Of Fame In June

Bill Rinehart
Pete Rose shares a laugh with Reds spokesman Rob Butcher and Reds broadcaster Marty Brennaman after the announcement.

Update 2:20 p.m.:

Reds legend Pete Rose thanked Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred for the opportunity to be inducted into the Reds Hall of Fame.  “Regardless of what you may have read, or what you believe in, I got along with the commissioner.  He was a great guy. He didn’t rule the way I wanted him to rule, but that’s life. For him to go out of his way to let us do this, I pat him on the back,” Rose says.

Because Rose is on Baseball's ineligible list for gambling, director Rick Walls says he was also prevented from induction into the local museum. 

“We removed that clause and that allowed for the decision to be made by the board to elect Pete to the Hall of Fame.”

Still, Rose says he's not going to give up on getting into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.

“I’m not the type that’s going to give up on anything. But, this is fine. I’m happy. And I’m not going to sit here and say this is the second best thing because it’s not. Maybe it would be if I weren’t from Cincinnati. But because I’m from Cincinnati, this is the first big thing.”

The team also plans to retire his jersey number.

“It’s really one of the biggest honors to have your number retired," says Rose.  "You gotta be a pretty good player for a pretty good period of time to get your number retired. You gotta be a pretty good player for a number of years to get a statue.”

Rose will get a statue outside the ballpark too. Details have not been announced.

The induction ceremony and related events will take place the weekend of June 24 - 26 as the Reds host the San Diego Padres.

Original post: 

Reds legend Pete Rose, banned from baseball 27 years ago for betting on the game, will be inducted into the Reds Hall of Fame in June, the Cincinnati Reds announced Tuesday morning.

Rose will be the only inductee in the class of 2016, with a weekend of ceremonies planned for June 24-26.

The 74-year-old Rose, baseball’s all-time hit king with 4,256 career base hits, has been the subject of exhibits at the Reds Hall of Fame and Museum, but, because of his lifetime ban, the Reds have not inducted him into the team’s Hall of Fame or formally retired his uniform number, 14.

On Dec. 14, baseball commissioner Rob Manfred rejected Rose’s request to lift his life-time ban from baseball, but said that the decision on whether or not Rose could be a member of baseball’s Hall of Fame in Cooperstown was not his to make.

Cooperstown is still an open question, but Rose’s induction into the Reds Hall of Fame is not.

“Introducing Pete into the Reds Hall of Fame will be a defining moment in the 147-year history of this storied franchise,’’ Reds president and CEO Bob Castellini said in a statement released this morning.

“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,’’ Castellini said.

Rose was an integral part of the “Great Eight” of the Big Red Machine as its lead-off hitter – a team that dominated the National League in the 1970s and won back-to-back World Series championships in 1975 and 1976.

All of the rest of the Big Red Machine's "Great Eight" are already enshrined in the Reds Hall of Fame and Museum, and three of them - Joe Morgan, Tony Perez and Johnny Bench - have statues outside the ballpark. Morgan, Bench and Perez have said that Rose deserves the same honor. 

A self-proclaimed “river rat” from Sedamsville, Rose, a Western Hills High School graduate, made his major league debut on Opening Day in 1963 at Crosley Field but left after the 1978 season to join the Philadelphia Phillies.

He began the 1984 season with the Montreal Expos, but was traded to the Reds in August of that year to become a player-manager.

On Sept. 11, 1985, Rose stroked a single into left field at Riverfront Stadium for his 4,192nd base hit, passing Ty Cobb on the all-time hits list. During the 1986 season, he decided to end his playing days and focused solely on managing the Reds.

But the gambling scandal which broke in spring training in 1989 ultimately ended in Rose’s lifetime ban from Major League Baseball.

Rick Walls, executive director of the Reds Hall of Fame and Museum, said in the club’s press release that 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 will become the 86th player, manager or executive inducted into the Reds Hall of Fame since it began in 1958.

Rose, Castellini and Walls are scheduled to hold a press conference later this morning at Great American Ball Park. This story will be updated.

Howard Wilkinson is in his 50th year of covering politics on the local, state and national levels.
Bill Rinehart started his radio career as a disc jockey in 1990. In 1994, he made the jump into journalism and has been reporting and delivering news on the radio ever since.