Let's be clear here: It's not the Hall of Integrity. It's the Hall of Fame. Fame comes in all sorts of ways and not all famous people who have been given awards are "legit," so to speak. There are way too many people in history who were plain jerks or failures as human beings that were brilliant at what they did. Fame is just that: fame. To attach any moral codes to it is hypocritical.
So let’s move on about Pete Rose.
If it were up to me, character would be among the primary considerations when bestowing an award on someone. But this would be imply we live in a perfect world inhabited by perfect beings.
So when it comes to the Baseball Hall of Fame (or any Hall for that matter) and Rose, what I'm saying is that we need to separate the character from the accomplishment. In the event that both happen to mesh, that only reflects well on the person and in some cosmic way humanity will reward that person.
Pete Rose is one of the most perplexing athletes of the 20th century. Subjectively, without a doubt, he is among the greatest, most intense players in the history of baseball. He was the essence of the Cincinnati Reds that won back-to-back championships in the 1970s. Objectively, his stats speak for themselves.
As a human being, let’s just say we won’t be pointing to him in a picture one day and saying to our kids, “See son, this is who I want you to model yourself under.”
At the heart of the story is a person with a gambling addiction who bet on games as a manager. Not as a player, but as a manager - as in after his career as a player was over. Not only that, he bet on his own team. Worse, he lied about it for nearly two decades. Most people in denial tend to do that.
Now the truth comes out of nowhere and it's not pretty at all. It simply reveals that Rose is a flawed human with utter lack of judgment and decency. He could have averted all this had he come clean from the start. Who knows? Maybe he would have been inducted into the Hall by now. Mind you, baseball writers are not exactly a forgiving or sometimes enlightened bunch.