PITTSBURGH — Three months shy of the 30th anniversary of his lifetime ban from baseball, Pete Rose says he doesn’t believe he’ll be ever be reinstated.
In an interview with Channel 11's Alby Oxenreiter, Rose said he would "love to make the Hall of Fame," but is past the point of believing there's a possibility for reinstatement.
The lifetime ban status has been attached to Rose since August of 1989, when he signed an agreement with then-Commissioner Bart Giamatti, and was banished to baseball’s permanent ineligible list.
Less than a week after the ban took effect, Giamatti died of a heart attack and three decades later, Rose’s ban remains in place.
Rose has applied for reinstatement with each of the subsequent commissioners: 1992-Fay Vincent, 1998-Bud Selig and 2015-Rob Manfred.
Each of those requests has been denied.
Rose, major league baseball’s leader with 4,256 hits, said he doesn’t believe the lifetime ban from the sport will ever be lifted.
“I’m not going to worry about that. I’m the one that messed that up. I’m not going to sit here and blame anybody for that,” he said.
With that mindset, Rose said he tries not to think about the subject of reinstatement, or the ongoing debate on whether he deserves a spot in Cooperstown.
Instead, he feels great satisfaction with the recognition he’s received from the Cincinnati Reds, the team he grew up watching, and for which he played from 1963 to 1978, winning two World Series titles.
“I made the Reds Hall of Fame. I got a statue over there. I got my number retired. It’s my hometown," he said.
While he stays busy at sports conventions and interacting with fans, Rose said he still finds time to watch a couple baseball games every day.
“I’m just a baseball fan. That’s all I am," he said.
At 78, he’s at peace with what’s happened, and with what may or may not happen in the future.
“You make mistakes in life. Sadly, I’m not perfect. Life goes on. I can’t worry the rest of my life whether I’m going to the Hall of Fame or not," he said.
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