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Keith Taylor: Cincy does right thing by inducting Pete Rose into Reds Hall of Fame

Major League Baseball struck out when commissioner Rob Manfred denied an appeal by Pete Rose to be reinstated into baseball last month.

Rose, banned for life in 1989 for violating the league’s code against gambling, spent more than two decades away from the sport that made him famous. Over the course of time, Rose admitted to betting on baseball and confessing to the sins that have never been forgiven by three commissioners that have followed the late Bart A. Giamatti, who banned Rose from baseball.

Pete Rose

Pete Rose

A country known for second chances, major league baseball seems to have an issue with letting baseball’s all-time hits leader, who turns 75 this year, back into the game and that’s a shame.

While Rose has been ignored by major league baseball and Cooperstown, the Cincinnati Reds rightfully recognize the contributions that Rose made to the state, the Queen City and major league baseball.

Rose will be inducted into the team’s Hall of Fame during the Reds Hall of Fame induction weekend set for June 24-26 at Great American Ball Park.

In addition to his long-awaited induction into the team’s prestigious Hall, the team will retire No. 14, the jersey he wore for two stints with the team.

During his playing career, Rose also played for the Philadephia Phillies, where he helped led the team to a World Series title in 1980. He also played a short time with the Montreal Expos, before a trade brought him back to Cincinnati as player-manager in 1984.

The Phillies and Washington Nationals should follow Cincinnati’s lead and add Rose to their list of all-time great players.

Rose made his share of mistakes and has tried to make amends for his failures, but those in charge of major league baseball feel the need to keep him away from the sport because of his sins that “stained the game.”

So, I take it steroids, performance enhancing drugs and other alledged acts of cheating by players don’t stain the game of baseball?

How many major league baseball players went and bought a Powerball ticket last week? How many of them gamble on a regular basis or cheat just to get ahead?

If major league baseball doesn’t want to give Rose the recognition he deserves for his playing accomplishments by giving him a fast ticket to Cooperstown, there are many more ways to give honor where it is due.

The Reds did just that.

It’s better to give a man flowers (honor and recognition) while he is living than throwing them on his grave after he has passed.

Keith Taylor is a columnist and senior sports writer who covers University of Kentucky athletics for KyForward.com

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