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Betting on the Hall of Fame

Essay by review  •  February 26, 2011  •  Essay  •  2,324 Words (10 Pages)  •  1,154 Views

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Betting on the Hall of Fame

What has the game of baseball meant for Americans? For many baseball is a game of integrity, honesty, and without a doubt skill. When one of these factors is allowed to overtake the other it leaves the game unbalanced with lost priorities. Like everything else in life, baseball has rules and regulations which should be followed and enforced. The Baseball Hall of Fame honors persons who have excelled in playing, managing, and serving the sport. Having ten years of experience in the game and five years of retirement players who pass a screening committee become eligible to be voted into the Hall of Fame.

The main discussion now is whether or not to allow Pete Rose into the Baseball Hall of Fame, after betting on baseball while he was a player and manager of the Cincinnati Reds. There are several regulations which ban certain individuals from acceptance into the Hall of Fame such as Rule 21. Pete Rose wouldn't be the first person who has been banned from baseball. Allowing Pete Rose into the hall of fame would deface the integrity of the game.

Pete Rose was with out a doubt an outstanding baseball player. Having the highest number of hits ,4,256, in the history of baseball while playing for the Cincinnati Reds making him a great candidate for the Hall of Fame. After retiring in 1986 he became the manager for the Cincinnati Reds during 1987 and 1988 (). While he was managing the Cincinnati Reds he was investigated and was found guilty of gambling on the game.

Discovered evidence shows that Rose began betting in the fall of 1984. When Rose was first confronted with this offense he denied all charges and swore under oath that he had never bet on Major League Baseball or had any sort of affiliation with anyone who bet on Major League Baseball. On the contrary, evidence was brought forth proving the investigation showing that Pete Rose had in fact gamble with baseball while he was a player and manager of the Cincinnati Reds. It was proven that he gambled four to five times a week during the 1985, 1986, and 1987 seasons. In placing his bets he mainly work with Tommy Gioisa, Ron Peters, Michael Bertolini, Paul Janszen , Steve Chevashore, and a bookie in Staten Island, NY identified only as "Val." Shown above are just six of the main people with whom he bet with and or used in aid to avoid getting caught. In the report to the Commissioner it is stated that Rose acknowledged sending eleven $8,000 check to Michael Bertolini, which were made out to fictitious payees, Rose stated that the money was loaned to Bertolini and was used only as payments to other athletes for participating in baseball card shows (hallinan). Later in 1987 Rose needed to use Paul Janszen in order to place his own bets with Val from Staten Island because Val refused to accept any bets tracking back to Pete Rose due to his failure in paying off his gambling debts.

Rule 21 stating, "any player, umpire, club, league official or employee, who shall bet any sum whatsoever upon any baseball game in connection with which the bettor has a duty to perform shall be declared permanently ineligible (Baseball Hall of Fame)." Pete Rose was banned from baseball for life making him ineligible to be accepted in the Hall of Fame. Every ball player was notified and reminded of this rule because it has been part of their career to know the rules especially one as important Rule 21 which was also placed on every clubhouse door.

After denying his gambling for over 18 years he finally confessed in 2002 in his book, My Prison Without Bars. Rose now claims that "yes" he did bet on baseball but never against his own team. And when Commissioner Selig asked him why he did what he did Rose replied, "I didn't think I would get caught." Reporter Jim Gray from NBC began to receive death threats after simply asking Pete Rose, during a live interview, if the result of his book was actually a truthful breakdown of guilt and a plead for forgiveness or if it was all motive in attempt to redeem a second chance into the Hall of Fame (MLB on NBC).

According to the Wikipedia Encyclopedia, candidates for the Hall of Fame have until 20 years after they retire from active play to be re-placed into ballots where the Veterans Committee, an 85 member group from which about two-thirds are members of the Hall of Fame, vote on the acceptance and admission of the candidate (Baseball Hall of Fame). According to Tom Verducci, a Sports Illustrated writer, there are many members of the Veterans Committee who have publicly spoke opposing the idea of allowing Pete Rose to enter the Hall of Fame. Some of them have even threatened to boycott the Hall of Fame ceremonies if he is allowed in. Tom Verducci mentions that the scandal concerning Pete Rose's gambling and him thinking that he should still hold the right to be in the Hall of Fame is partly our fault as a society. He states, "We teach great athletes their whole lives that they are above the law; we create the monster, then we have to go out and deal with it (Schleicher). " So is this what we have come to as a society, that it is ok if you break the law as long as you're a good enough athlete it's acceptable.

This wouldn't be the first time where we have been confronted with issues of gambling or fixed games in baseball. There have been other outstanding players who have thought they were above everyone and decided to take the rule book into their own hands and follow their stupidity.

The 1919 World Series, a game between the Chicago White Sox of the American League and the Cincinnati Reds of the National League. The Chicago White Sox lost the game 9-1. Nothing major was ever thought of this until about a year later when news broke out that a fix was one since the first inning. Cynics began to get skeptical when the pre-game betting odds swapped shortly before the first game. It was thought and believed that the Chicago White Sox would blow the Cincinnati Reds out of the water but before the first game all the underdogs went in favor of the Cincinnati Reds. Rumors and suspicions soon turned into confessions. This conspiracy is often referred to as the "Black Sox Scandal," the betting between players and gamblers has led to a life time ban to eight White Sox players. Involved were pitchers Eddie Cicotte and Claude Williams, outfielders Joe Jackson and Happy Felsch, first baseman Chick Gandil, shortstop Swede Risberg, third baseman Buck Weaver and reserve infielder Fred McMullin were all charged with conspiring to fix the outcome of the Fall Classic against the Cincinnati Reds (history of the world series-1919).

Joseph Jefferson Jackson, also known as "Shoeless Joe", was a valued player for the Philadelphia



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