No living players will be inducted into the Hall of Fame this year, a decision that baseball great Pete Rose said is “kind of sad.”
In an interview with Fox News, Rose lamented the first shutout since 1996.
“There’s a lot of great players that were on the ballot. And Craig Biggio, the first player on the first ballot since 1945 with 3,000 hits not to make the Hall of Fame. Of course, I believe that Mike Piazza is probably the greatest offensive catcher in the history of baseball, only got over 50%. Johnny Bench is the best catcher in the history of baseball, but Piazza has all the record for catchers as far as offensively.
“So as far as the guys linked to steroids, I didn’t have a vote. You know, I don’t know how they came up with the percentages that they came up with. I remember the first time Mark McGwire was on the ballot, he got 24%, and I was wondering today to see if [Barry] Bonds and [Roger] Clemens and those guys would get in the 50s, because if they got into the 50s, that means in a couple of years [they] probably make it to the Hall of Fame. But they’re in the 30s, and next year as you know, or you may not know, you’ve got [Greg] Maddux and you’ve got Frank Thomas and you’ve got Jeff Kent, [Tom] Glavine, a lot of good nominees for next year.
“But it’s sad because we have a lot of friends in Cooperstown who own stores and they kind of thrive on that week, Hall of Fame week to survive for the year, and I don’t know what kind of induction weekend it’s going to be now because there’s no induction [of living players].”
The issue, of course, hits close to home for Rose, who is ineligible to be inducted into the Hall of Fame despite being Major League Baseball’s all-time leader in hits (4,256).
Rose agreed to permanent exclusion from the Hall of Fame after being accused of gambling on baseball games while he played for and managed the Cincinnati Reds -- but he apparently still has hope that things will change.
“I think the fans understand that now I understand I made a mistake, and they’re willing to give me a second chance,” he told Fox News. “And my teammates realize that I know I made a mistake, and they’re on my side. But it’s one guy’s decision, Commissioner of Baseball Bud Selig. And I probably made his job tougher over the years, I probably did, because there’s been a problem with baseball the last 15, 20 years. But he’s the guy in charge, and he can call me right now and reinstate me tomorrow if that’s the way he felt.
“But we’re still trying to contact him. And who knows? Who knows down the road? You never give up. I never gave up as a player and I won’t give up as someone who wants to go to the Hall of Fame, because it’s the ultimate goal for a baseball player or a football player or a basketball player.”