Pete Rose has been exiled from baseball for 14 years. He
has walked in the Shadow of the Beast of Terror and survived the Fear,
Intimidation and Complacency. Is it time for him to sprout
the Wings of Vigilance? Is Pete Rose a role model for kids
who fall down and make mistakes? Is his travels through
the world of exile worthy of removing the sanctions against him?
January 9, 2004—Ground Zero Plus 849
Pete Rose vs. the
Beast of Baseball Terror
GROUND ZER0, New York, N.Y.--Jan. 9, 2004 -- The
Beast of Baseball Hall of Fame Terror is stalking Pete Rose.
ranks as an all-time great baseball player
Pete Rose was
ousted from baseball when he was caught betting
Rose, one of
baseball's most outstanding players, was ousted from baseball when he
was caught betting, a taboo that led to his exile from the game.
Without doubt, Pete Rose ranks as an all-time
great baseball player. He broke Ty Cobbs hitting record of 4,191
on September 11, 1985 with his 4,192nd hit. At the time of
his retirement as a player, he racked up 4,256 hits.
September 11, 2001 was a Terror
Day for America and ironically September 11, 1985 was ultimately a
Terror Day for Pete. What might have marked a day when he was
assured a place in the Baseball Hall of Fame resulted instead in a
disaster. Pete's Twin Towers were smashed when his
compulsion to bet on the game ripped from his grasp any hope of being
waltzed into baseball's Hall of Fame.
banishment for life of Pete Rose from baseball is the sad end of
a sorry episode. One of the game's greatest players has engaged
in a variety of acts which have stained the game, and he must
now live with the consequences of those acts. By choosing not to
come to a hearing before me, and by choosing not to proffer any
testimony or evidence contrary to the evidence and information
contained in the report of the Special Counsel to the
Commissioner, Mr. Rose has accepted baseball's ultimate
sanction, lifetime ineligibility."
of Baseball, A. Bartlett Giamatti,
August 24, 1989
Baseball Hall of Fame opened for business on June 12, 1939 with 13
legends as its first occupants. Not all of them were
spotless moral characters off the baseball field. Babe
Ruth was known as a boozer and womanizer. Ty Cobb was a
well-known racist. Since the first group was legendized,
more than 250 other baseball heroes have earned their way into
Cooperstown. It has been suggested that if the
bigots, alcoholics, wife beaters, absentee fathers and misanthropes
were removed from Cooperstown, the walls would be nearly naked.
exile has lasted now for 14 years
crime was betting not beating, playing the game of chance not drinking
or drugging or beating on his wife. But, the Beast
of Baseball Terror hooked his talons into Pete Rose, flying around his
neck like the albatross in the Ancient Mariner.
Pete's exile has lasted now for 14 years.
He has been told that if he confesses his crimes in public, if he
humbles himself openly, he might be pardoned. He
might be allowed to be eligible for the Hall of Fame where his picture
and stats could be displayed with his name and title: Gambler!
Is Pete Rose a victim of baseball
The Christian Science Monitor poll
seems to support the position that Pete doesn't deserve a place in the
Hall of Fame. In a current poll on its website, 73 percent
of the votes are against him. Conversely, a
television trial was played out the other evening with Johnny Cochran
defending Pete Rose. The jury voted in favor of Pete's
reinstatement back into baseball, allowing him to be inducted into the
Hall of Fame.
in the world is fair
a bit odd that Pete Rose should be put on the crucifix of his
profession when former Presidents of the United States who lied to the
nation still receive full benefits and accolades.
Not everything in the world is fair.
And that's the key.
In his own way, Pete Rose is more of
a hero than most of his compatriots in the Hall of Fame.
For fourteen years he has been deprived of honor, locked in a prison
of shame and moral shadows spoiling his career. He
has been a "detainee" of the Beast of Terror, a suspect of moral
Terrorism, convicted and sentenced without much of a trial.
And, he hasn't given up his fight to
reclaim his status--not as a moral giant--but as a baseball hero.
He's here in New York City signing his new book, a compilation of his
life in which he admits he bet on baseball while managing.
Is Rose's new
book an honest mea culpa?
been told if he publicly confesses, he might be reinstated.
Whether the book is a swing Rose is making at the ball of
reinstatement, or an honest mea culpa, only he knows.
What is for sure is that he has faced
the Triads of Terrorism--Fear, Intimidation and Complacency.
And, he's battled them with Courage, Conviction and Right Actions that
benefit the Children's Children's Children.
He has become a Sentinel of Vigilance
in many ways. Let's examine why. First,
Pete Rose has paid the price. He has suffered for his
crimes, and instead of turning away from them, has faced them.
If role modeling is a factor in
entering the Hall of Fame--which historically seems to be at question
(Mickey Mantle--where's the next drink? Joe DiMaggio--we
heard you were a nasty egotistical, selfish, ragefully jealous
man)--then Pete's struggle to right himself is worthy of note.
How many kids make mistakes and then
stop and feel they are failures, never fighting to learn from those
mistakes or renew their lives with more wisdom because of the error?
One of the great role models of all
times is the person who falls down and gets up and falls down and gets
up and falls down and gets up. For fourteen years, Pete
Rose has walked in the shadow of the Beast of Terror. He
has battled the Beast in many ways.
Courage for Pete Rose to stand up and admit his fault
take Courage to stand up and admit fault? Did it take
Conviction to spill your guts in a book so the world could inspect
every nook and cranny of your existence? Is the Right Action
that benefits the future generations to stand up for yourself even
though the world has exiled you?
Perhaps more moral lessons exist in
Pete Rose's exile than any he might have created as player.
Would a mother or father want their child to learn how to change
behavior that hurt them? Would a mother or father want
their child not to give up on their self image when the world around
them continued to castigate them and make them feel less than they
It's time for
Pete Rose to sprout the Wings of Vigilance and fly out of the
Valley of the Beast
When Pete Rose
said the other night on a television interview: "I have learned
a great deal from my mistakes," I considered that statement more
powerful than breaking Ty Cobb's hitting record.
If Vigilance is anything, it is
learning from mistakes. It is about shifting and changing
our lives so we are not easy pickings of the Beast of Terror.
The great role model for children is
the guy or gal who stands up when others try and beat them down, and
is willing to do what is necessary to keep trudging even when it seems
Pete Rose has walked in the Valley of
the Shadow of the Beast for far too long. It's time for him to
sprout the Wings of Vigilance and fly out.
I vote for Pete Rose to enter the
Sentinels of Vigilance Hall of Fame, for his Courage, Conviction and
Right Actions have earned him far more than a bronzed baseball and a
plaque next to bigots, drunks, abusers and misanthropes.
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