Rose: This is the best baseball HOF in the world

Posted at 7:26 AM, Jan 19, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-19 12:23:18-05

CINCINNATI -- The Reds announced Tuesday morning that the homegrown Hit King Pete Rose will be inducted into the Reds Hall of Fame this June.



Rose will be the only inductee this year, Reds Hall of Fame director Rick Walls said. The Hall of Fame had to make changes to their bylaws to allow for his induction.

"Pete Rose is probably the biggest part of the Reds franchise," said Reds president Bob Castellini said at a press conference Tuesday.

Encompassed in his Hall of Fame induction, Rose will be honored with a statue at the ballpark and the Reds will retire the No. 14 jersey. 

"It's really one of the biggest honors," Rose said of his number retirement. "But if my grandson makes the Reds, could he wear it?"

And at a surprise to no one, Rose had some snarky remarks on the statue, too.

When asked what pose or moment he would like the statue to depict, Rose replied "Well I sure as hell don't want to be at the Turfway standing at the two dollar window. I can say that now, right? I don't have to look over my shoulder anymore."

Rose then said he would like the statue to show his iconic head-first slide.

The gist of Tuesday's conference was a recap of Rose's baseball career with the highest praise coming from Castellini and Walls. Castellini said the decision was one of "the greatest players to ever wear a Reds uniform" and that "it will be an unforgettable experience watching him being honored as such."



And Rose shared the sentiment, calling the Reds Hall of fame "the best baseball Hall of Fame."



Catellini also said, despite his ban, Rose won't have to act like a "guest" at Great American Ballpark any longer.



In an ironic turn of events, Rose spoke without a filter -- barring no contempt for the MLB, commissioner or his recently upheld lifetime ban from baseball -- at the Oak Hills Sports Stag Monday night.

"What is Baseball going to do, suspend me?" Rose quipped from the stage at the event.

Rose was banned from baseball 26 years ago after the MLB discovered truth behind allegations that Rose bet on baseball while employed by the league.

Evidence gathered by investigator John Dowd showed that Rose bet on the Reds; an offense punishable by lifetime ban. No evidence shows that Rose ever bet on the Reds to lose, but MLB rules hold the same weight and punishment for players who bet on their own teams to win or lose.

WATCH: The day that changed baseball forever

READ: Death, wrath, and the real story of Pete Rose's lifetime ban

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said the decision to uphold Rose's ban was made because, he said, Rose seemed unfazed about the violations, as well as his refusal to admit his mistakes and apologize.

"It is not at all clear to me that Mr. Rose has a grasp of the scope of his violations," Manfred said in his decision. "Mr. Rose's public and private comments, including his initial admission in 2004, provide me with little confidence that he has a mature understanding of his wrongful conduct, that he has accepted full responsibility for it, or that he understands the damage he has caused.

"During our meeting, Mr. Rose told me that he has continued to bet on horse racing and on professional sports, including Baseball (2). Those bets may have been permitted by law in the jurisdictions in which they were placed, but this fact does not mean that the bets would be permissible if made by a player or manager subject to Rule 21.

"In short, Mr. Rose has not presented credible evidence of a reconfigured life either by an honest acceptance by him of his wrongdoing, so clearly established by the Dowd Report, or by a rigorous, self-aware and sustained program of avoidance by him of all the circumstances that led to his permanent ineligibility in 1989."

Pete Rose's attorney argued that the MLB should put Rose on the Hall of Fame ballot before he dies, and that, without Rose, the hall doesn't truly represent baseball's best.

Rose grew up on Cincinnati's West Side and graduated from Western Hills High School. Rose was a two-sport athlete at West high, starring on both the baseball field and the gridiron for the Mustangs. Although Rose was undersized for his age, he earned the starting running back position on his freshman football team.

TIMELINE: Check out the interactive timeline -- Pete Rose's career from West High to Hit King

Click here for more of WCPO's continuing coverage on Pete Rose.