A new biography on baseball legend Pete Rose — now getting a major push by the sports magazine with the largest circulation in the nation — questions the decision by the board of directors for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum to keep him from being considered for enshrinement in the national pastime’s pantheon.
The book — “Pete Rose: An American Dilemma,” by Kostya Kennedy — suggests it is time for the Hall to rethink its banishment of the game’s all-time hits leader in light of the fact the baseball writers get to vote on players who used performance-enhancing drugs.
Kennedy’s book is slated to be released Tuesday by Sports Illustrated, the publishing house that also publishes the magazine of the same name. The book is the magazine’s cover story this week, and includes a lengthy excerpt.
Reached by The Daily Star on Thursday, Kennedy said he disagrees with the Hall’s rule freezing Rose out from consideration after the 17-time All Star was implicated in betting on baseball games while working as a manager.
“I think it was wrong to shut him out,” Kennedy said. “He deserves his day of judgement.”
An assistant managing editor for Sports Illustrated, Kennedy said he does not use the book to make the case that Rose should be in the Hall of Fame. Rather, he said, he chronicles the “multi-layered story” of Rose’s life and career as player who still has most hits in major league history, and his subsequent years as a manager. The book also includes extensive interviews with Rose’s son, Pete Jr., now a minor league coach after playing briefly in the majors.
Brad Horn, a spokesman for the Hall of Fame, acknowledged that the 15-member board of directors is empowered to “revoke, alter or amend the rules at any time.”