March 11, 2016
Former Phillies legend Pete Rose, exiled from baseball for more than 25 years, will finally get his day in the Hall of Fame. It just won't be the one in Cooperstown, where Rose already has several artifacts but not the highly coveted plaques that don the walls of the museum and Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati.
Major League Baseball's all-time hits leader, banned from the game for violating the Rule 21 gambling prohibition, will be inducted into Milwaukee's Bobblehead Hall of Fame in an inaugural ceremony on April 23, according to FOX Sports.
Nicknamed Charlie Hustle, Rose played first base for the Phillies from 1979-1983, helping notch a World Series victory in 1980 that justified his then all-time high free agent price tag. Between his accomplishments in Cininatti and Philadelphia, he was a stone cold lock for the Hall of Fame until 1989, when the league opened an investigation into his day-to-day gambling activities with the Reds during the 1987 season.
For years, Rose denied the allegations, lobbying for reinstatement and a place in baseball's hallowed shrine. It wasn't until 2004 that he admitted to the charges in his autobiography, 'My Prison Without Bars,' and resumed his push to regain eligibility.
While it may not be exactly what Rose envisioned, his place in Milwaukee's new museum is still a testament of sorts to his importance to the game as a whole. According to the museum, he'll be on hand for the induction:
Pete will be joining us here in Milwaukee for the Inaugural National Bobblehead Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony as his bobblehead becomes the first to be enshrined. Pete will be giving a Hall of Fame induction speech and also participating in a moderated discussion LIVE on stage with a respected sports journalist. The ceremony will also highlight Pete's bobbleheads and illustrious career.
All fans in attendance will receive a limited edition bobblehead of Pete Rose which was produced to commemorate Pete's induction into the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame.
Over the past year, Rose has regained more of a presence in baseball, signing on with FOX Sports as special analyst during the 2015 season. Though he submitted another application for reinstatement to new MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred, who replaced Bud Selig last year, the change of leadership didn't alter the league's position. Still, the contrite former Phillie maintains that he will hold out hope for an official place among the greats.
Bobblehead immortality will have to suffice, at least for the time being.