CINCINNATI, USA – Pete Rose, the all-time hits leader banished by Major League Baseball for betting on games, received a standing ovation in a rare game appearance at the 2015 All-Star Game on Tuesday, July 14.
In the same city where Rose spent most of his playing days and became a legend nicknamed “Charlie Hustle” for his gritty determination on every play, fans cheered him for nearly 90 seconds.
Rose had a record 4,256 hits in a 24-year playing career that featured 19 seasons with the Cincinnati Reds. But he was banished in 1989 after an investigation showed he bet on games while manager of the Reds, a rule violation punishable by a life ban.
New major league commissioner Rob Manfred met Rose for the first time before the game, Rose saying that Manfred told him, “I’ve never talked so much about a guy I’ve never met.”
But Rose is a popular topic because Manfred reinstating him is the only path for Rose to be considered for the Baseball Hall of Fame, an honor that would have been a sure bet for any player untainted by scandal and with Rose’s achievements.
Adding to the drama was the All-Star Game being played in Cincinnati, a special moment that sparked permission for Rose to appear at only his second major league game since the ban, the first coming before a World Series game in Atlanta when he was named to the All-20th Century Team.
Rose and Manfred met in a field-level room at Great America Ballpark just before Rose walked out to thunderous applause as one of four former greats voted by fans as one of the team’s greatest players, joining shortstop Barry Larkin, catcher Johnny Bench and second baseman Joe Morgan.
Manfred said that he plans to meet with Rose regarding his request for reinstatement soon and that a review of the original investigation is ongoing.
“There’s no change with respect to the process with Pete Rose,” Manfred said.
“We’re taking a fresh look at all of that. I remain committed to the idea that Mr. Rose deserves an opportunity to tell me … whatever he wants me to know about the issue.
“I’m sure there will be an in-person meeting. I want to schedule it at a time when I’m comfortable I have a good grasp of all the factual material.”
(READ: Trout powers American League to All-Star game win)
MLB later honored the four greatest living players as voted by fans, a select list that included former homer king Hank Aaron, outfielder Willie Mays, pitcher Sandy Koufax and catcher Bench.
“What a humbling experience just to be on the same field with them,” said Houston Astros pitcher Dallas Keuchel, the American League’s starting pitcher against the National League in the annual elite matchup. – Rappler.com
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