Should Pete Rose be in the Baseball Hall of Fame? Some Ohio lawmakers think it's time

Two Ohio state lawmakers are asking the Major League Baseball commissioner to lift the ban on Pete Rose from entering the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

"From the standpoint of talent in the game, there's nobody better. Period," said state Rep. Bill Seitz, a Republican from suburban Cincinnati. He called it "hypocritical" that major league teams are now heavily invested in sports betting operations but gambling is still held against Rose.

Seitz and state Rep. Tom Young, a Republican from near Dayton, are co-sponsoring the resolution backing Rose for the Hall of Fame. Resolutions have no legal force.

Last year, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said fans being allowed to bet on sports doesn't change anything when it comes to players betting. "I 100 percent believe if you bet on baseball, you should be banned from baseball for life," he said.

Rose is now 83 years old.

"The wide belief down in Cincinnati is that they'll probably put him in (the Hall of Fame) when he's dead," Seitz said.

In an interview in 2020, Rose said: "I screwed up. I should have never (bet on baseball). That's the only mistake I've ever made in my life to be honest with you. And that's the biggest mistake. I would love to go to the Hall of Fame. Any player would. But as long as this heart is beating, I'm not going to go to the Hall of Fame."

Rose, whose nickname was Charlie Hustle, played for the Cincinnati Reds from 1963-86. During and after his playing career, he managed the Reds from 1984-89. Rose became the all-time leader in hits, games played and at-bats, and he won three World Series.

Rose was banned from baseball in 1989 over allegations that he bet on baseball while a player and manager. Two years later, the Hall of Fame decided to block from induction anyone on the banned list.

Laura Bischoff is a reporter for the USA TODAY Network Ohio Bureau, which serves the Columbus Dispatch, Cincinnati Enquirer, Akron Beacon Journal and 18 other affiliated news organizations across Ohio.

This article originally appeared on The Columbus Dispatch: Ohio lawmakers want Pete Rose eligible for Baseball Hall of Fame