Pete Rose isn’t giving up on his quest to be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
Attorneys for baseball’s all-time hits leader have sent a letter to the hall asking that he be made eligible for inclusion, which would put his name on the ballot to be voted on by baseball writers.
The seven-page letter, which CNN has obtained, was submitted Tuesday by attorneys Raymond Genco and Mark Rosenbaum on Rose’s behalf to Hall of Fame President Jeff Idelson.
The letter seeks to alter a rule concerning Rose’s status on Major League Baseball’s Ineligible List. In 1991, two years after Rose was banned from baseball, a rule was implemented that said those on the Ineligible List are not eligible for Hall of Fame consideration by the Baseball Writers Association of America. That rule is known as the “Pete Rose Rule.”
Rose’s camp is asking for Rose to be considered eligible because he was put on the Ineligible List before 1991.
Rose, who collected 4,256 hits over his long playing career, was banned from baseball for life in August 1989 for betting on baseball games. Rose at the time denied betting on baseball and continued to deny it until 2004, when he admitted in his autobiography, “My Prison Without Bars,” that he did bet on games while managing the Cincinnati Reds.
In December, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred denied Rose reinstatement to Major League Baseball.
“We are writing to respectfully request that Pete Rose be treated exactly the same way that every other Major League Baseball (MLB) player and manager has been treated from the start of the National Baseball Hall of Fame voting in 1936 until 1991,” the letter addressed to Idelson said.
“Throughout all of those 55 years, no MLB player or manager was ever considered ineligible for the Hall of Fame because they were on the MLB Ineligible List. Put another way, Pete Rose is the only player in 55 years to be disqualified from eligibility for Hall of Fame because of his presence on the Ineligible List.
“We humbly submit to you that Rule 3A should be amended in a limited way, to allow Pete Rose to be treated in exactly the same way as every other player and manager before him had been treated — He should be given a window of eligibility to be considered by the Baseball writers for the Hall of Fame. His placement on the Ineligible List came as a result of a negotiated compromise, years before Rule 3A was promulgated.”
In Manfred’s written decision in December, the commissioner made it clear that his decision on Rose has no impact on his eligibility for the Hall of Fame, which, notably, is not run by MLB.
“It is not a part of my authority or responsibility here to make any determination concerning Mr. Rose’s eligibility as a candidate for election to the National Baseball Hall of Fame,” Manfred wrote then. “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.”
Manfred also wrote that Hall of Fame policy is an entirely different determination and that his only concern is protecting the integrity of play on the field through appropriate enforcement of MLB rules.
“Any debate over Mr. Rose’s eligibility for the Hall of Fame is one that must take place in a different forum,” Manfred wrote.
Rose turned 75 years old in April.