I’m in favor of Pete Rose being in the Hall. I dunno, there are lots of reasons. Everyone realizes he probably gambled on baseball. But yeah, you know those rumors that he made a deal with… was it Bart Giamatti? Or Fay Vincent? I think Giamatti, that he accepted a ban that was intended to just be temporary because this thing wasn’t going to go away. So he’d do his penance but then be reinstated later (kind of like those rumors regarding Jordan’s retirement). Then Bart died. But those are the rumors as to why he accepted a ban. The expectation was that it wouldn’t be permanent, and the issue mostly gets put to rest. But who knows, that’s just a rumor.
More to the point, I believe that at the time, being banned from baseball didn’t mean you were banned from the Hall of Fame. I think that’s something the Baseball Writers Association (or whatever the Hall voters are called) instituted that after Pete Rose was banned. Would he have accepted a ban if he knew this would happen? I dunno.
Anyway, whatever, I’m pretty much with majority opinion here, that he should only be reinstated if he admits to gambling on baseball and shows he’s been trying to change his life. And who knows if that will ever happen.
There is a difference between him and Shoeless Joe, though. Joe accepted money to throw a series. Yeah, people point to his great stats that series but whatever, breaking it down situationally, he only did well (tried) when it made no difference, like a home run when they’re way behind, stuff like that. Pete never bet against his own team. Not that betting for your team is not bad, but whatever, point is he never deliberately tanked for money, unlike Joe.
Whether this is a big difference between Pete and Joe is arguable, but the point is, there is a qualitative difference and this is pretty much the reason I think that most people want to see Pete in the Hall but don’t want to see Joe.