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Odds Against Pete Rose Being Eligible for Baseball Hall of Fame by 2020

Pete Rose bronze statue
This might be the closest Pete Rose comes to having a bronze plaque. Photo by pixabay (Public Domain).
  • Pete Rose is back in the news after Major League Baseball officially partnered with MGM Resorts International
  • Will Baseball’s Hit King finally get called to the Hall now that the MLB is embracing gambling? 
  • Would it be hypocritical for Baseball to maintain Rose’s lifetime ban? 

Bettors who love baseball and irony can satisfy both of their passions by wagering on whether Pete Rose will be eligible for the Baseball Hall of Fame by 2020. The prop is courtesy of the oddsmakers at MyBookie, who believe there’s a 98% chance that the disgraced Hit King will not be welcome into Cooperstown within the next two years.

Pete Rose Baseball Hall of Fame Odds

Will Pete Rose Be Eligible for the Hall of Fame Before 2020? Odds at MyBookie
Yes +1200
No -5000

The 77-year-old Rose has been persona non grata in Major League Baseball since 1989 when he was banned for allegedly betting on games during his tenure as manager of the Cincinnati Reds. He subsequently applied for reinstatement on three occasions in 1992, 1998, and 2015, but his requests were either rejected out of hand or never acted upon.

Rose applied for reinstatement on three occasions in 1992, 1998, and 2015, but his requests were either rejected out of hand or never acted upon.

One of the biggest impediments for reinstatement has been Rose himself, as the 17-time All-Star has never admitted to betting against his own team and has continued actively betting on baseball in retirement. His lack of contrition has been problematic for the succession of MLB Commissioners who has come into power during his exile.

Rose further besmirched his reputation in 1990 when he was found guilty of tax evasion and was sentenced to five months in prison and fined $50,000.

Major League Baseball is Warming Up to Gambling

Major League Baseball has never shown a willingness to lift Rose’s lifetime ban, but some pundits believe that could change after the league came to terms with MGM Resorts International on a lucrative multiyear deal. The partnership will allow the gaming operator to use the MLB’s official statistical feeds to create “a new one-of-a-kind experience for baseball fans.” MGM will also be able to utilize league and team logos in advertising and at the company’s sportsbooks.

Major League Baseball is likely to sell its data feeds to other gaming operators in the near future and could one day even have a franchise in Las Vegas, a possibility that seemed unthinkable in Rose’s heyday.

Baseball’s New Partnership Doesn’t Change Rose’s Situation

It’s one thing to get in bed with gaming operators, as most professional sports leagues are now doing, but it’s another to turn your back on competitive integrity. Rose wasn’t banned from baseball because he occasionally went to the racetracks or bet on boxing matches. He was banned because he bet on games in which he could influence the outcome through his actions and decisions.

In order for baseball’s new partnerships to work, gaming operators and baseball fans need to know that the games are being played fairly and that everyone involved is during their utmost to win. If Major League Baseball lifts Rose’s ban, they will be excusing his actions and admitting that competitive oversight is not a priority.

If Major League Baseball lifts Rose’s ban, they will be excusing his actions and admitting that competitive oversight is not a priority.

Commissioner Rob Manfred took a definitive stance on the subject back in 2015 when he explained why Rose would not be welcomed back into baseball.  “Gambling by players and managers on games involving their clubs has the potential to undermine the integrity of the game on the field and public confidence in the game,” he wrote in a press release.

Three years have passed since Manfred issued his decree, but his  commitment to protecting the sanctity of the game remains the same.

It wouldn’t be shocking to see Rose in Cooperstown one day, but it certainly won’t be in the next two years as Major League Baseball establishes a foothold in the legal sports betting market.

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Ryan Murphy began his love affair with sports journalism at the age of nine when he wrote his first article about his little league baseball team. He has since authored his own column for Fox Sports, and now serves as SBD’s resident NBA and MLB expert.