Hit King receives Hall of Fame welcomePosted: Wednesday October 23, 2002 9:36 PM
Updated: Wednesday October 23, 2002 10:50 PM
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Pete Rose got the biggest cheers -- and chants of "Hall of Fame" -- when he was introduced before Game 4 of the World Series as part of a promotion of baseball's most memorable moments.
The former Cincinnati Reds star, who was banned from baseball for life following an investigation into his gambling 12 years ago, was given a standing ovation at Pacific Bell Park that lasted 1 minute, 10 seconds -- longer than the cheers for Hank Aaron, Cal Ripken Jr., Mark McGwire and Kirk Gibson.
"That was incredible," Rose said. "I thought I was back in Cincinnati. The fans are the reason I played the game."
Three years ago, when Rose was introduced during a similar promotion before a World Series game at Atlanta's Turner Field, he also got the longest ovation.
Rose agreed in 1989 to a lifetime ban from baseball following a six-month investigation of his gambling. He applied for reinstatement in September 1997 but baseball commissioner Bud Selig has refused to rule on it, saying he hasn't seen any evidence that would make him alter the lifetime ban.
After the ceremony, which honored the night he broke Ty Cobb's career hits record in 1985, Rose said he wasn't angry that Selig hasn't ruled on his application. Selig applauded when Rose was introduced
"He's had enough things go wrong this year," Rose said. "I think it was unfair he took the blame for the All-Star game."
Selig was criticized in July when the All-Star game at Milwaukee ended in a 7-7 tie in the 11th inning after the NL ran out of pitchers.
Rose's record-setting night was sixth on the list, trailing Cal Ripken's breaking of Lou Gehrig's record for consecutive games played; Hank Aaron's breaking of Babe Ruth's career home-run record; Jackie Robinson's breaking of the color barrier; the single season home run record chase by Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa; and Gehrig's retirement speech.
Wearing a dark suit, pink tie and Reds' cap, Rose emerged from the Giants dugout on the third-base side, walked to near the base, waved and blew a kiss to the crowd. The Angels and Giants applauded from the top step of the dugout.
The only boos heard from the crowd was when longtime Los Angeles Dodgers star Kirk Gibson was introduced for his moment -- the pinch-hit home run in the bottom of the ninth inning to win Game 1 of the 1988 World Series.
Selig also allowed Rose to appear on the field before Game 2 of the 1999 World Series at Atlanta's Turner Field, and Charlie Hustle received a 55-second ovation, the longest and loudest reception given a player at the introductions of baseball's All-Century team.
Rose is ineligible for the Hall of Fame as long as he's banned for life. No person ever permanently banned has ever been reinstated. Other than the two ceremonies, he hasn't been allowed in parts of major league parks that are off-limits to fans.
"I think it's well-chronicled, the position that Pete's in with respect to major league baseball," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said before the ceremony. "Pete Rose is, if you talk about the guys who are the real warriors of baseball -- the guys who not only brought the torch from one generation to the other, but passing it on -- Pete Rose in a major part of that."
Rose had 4,256 hits in a 24-year career ending in 1986. In 1985, he broke the previous record of 4,191, set by Ty Cobb.
"I think that when you talk about the greats of the game, certainly Pete Rose is right there with them, and you would hope
there would be some understanding between Pete and major league baseball just to exactly what his status is," Scioscia said.