Campaign pitch: Trump goes to bat for Rose in Hall of Fame

Posted at 8:42 PM, Feb 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-08 20:42:56-05

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump wants Cooperstown to open its doors for Pete Rose.

Trump tweeted Saturday that baseball's career hits leader should be in the Hall of Fame. On Wednesday, Rose again asked Major League Baseball to end his lifetime ban for betting on the Cincinnati Reds while playing for and managing them.

"Pete Rose played Major League Baseball for 24 seasons, from 1963-1986, and had more hits, 4,256, than any other player (by a wide margin). He gambled, but only on his own team winning, and paid a decades long price. GET PETE ROSE INTO THE BASEBALL HALL OF FAME. It's Time!" Trump tweeted.

Rose agreed to the lifetime ban in August 1989 after an investigation for MLB by lawyer John Dowd found the perennial All-Star placed numerous bets on the Reds to win from 1985-87. Dowd is one of Trump's former lawyers.

Rose was turned down by Commissioner Rob Manfred in December 2015 in a previous request for reinstatement. In this new application, Rose's lawyers contended the penalty is unfair compared with discipline for steroids use and the current electronic sign-stealing scandal involving the Houston Astros.

The 78-year-old Rose also asked baseball's Hall of Fame to remove the prohibition adopted by the Hall's board of directors in 1991 to prohibit players on the permanently ineligible list from appearing on the Hall ballot of the Baseball Writers' Association of America.

Trump has attended several sporting events in recent months. He was booed at Nationals Park in October during Game 5 of the World Series between the Washington Nationals and Houston Astros.