Pete Rose on Gambling – “I should’ve picked Beating Up My Wife”
Pete Rose is easily one of the greatest baseball players in history. He holds the Major League Baseball records for most career hits (4,256), games played (3,562) and at-bats (14,053). He also won three World Series titles, three MVP awards, three batting titles and made 17 All-Star teams at an equaled five different positions.
Despite all of this, Rose is ineligible for the Baseball Hall of Fame and banned from the game for life. As a manager of the Cincinnati Reds in the late 1980’s, Rose was accused of betting on his own team. While he denied the allegations, Rose voluntarily accepted a ban with the thought that he could later apply for reinstatement.
However, he’s never truly had a chance at reinstatement and believes that it’s because baseball is so hard on gamblers. ‘Pete Hustle’ expressed his feelings in a recent interview with Pittsburgh’s 93.7 The Fan.
“To be honest with you, I picked the wrong vice,” he said. “I should have picked alcohol. I should have picked drugs or I should have picked beating up my wife or girlfriend because if you do those three, you get a second chance. They haven’t given too many gamblers a second chance in the world of baseball.”
Though he comes across a little brash in the interview, Rose wasn’t trying to make light of spousal abuse or drug problems. Instead, he was just pointing out that baseball treats gambling harsher than just about anything else. Rose did eventually own up to his gambling actions, which he admitted to in 2007.
“I made mistakes. I can’t whine about it,” he said. “I’m the one that messed up and I’m paying the consequences. However, if I am given a second chance, I won’t need a third chance. If I ever would make the Hall of Fame, I’d be the happiest guy in the world. “But I don’t want you to think when I go to bed at night I’m gonna pray I go to the Hall of Fame….When I go to bed at night, I’ll pray I wake up tomorrow morning. That’s where I am in my life right now.”
At 72 years old, it appears doubtful that the MLB will ever forgive Pete Rose for gambling on his team. But he remains popular with the fans and media despite his lifetime ban.