The Supreme Court of the United States voted 6-3 today to strike down the 1992 Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act. The law forbade state-authorized sports gambling in every state except Nevada. According to foxsports.com, Americans place illegal bets on sports totaling $150 billion a year. One of those Americans is Pete Rose, who Major League Baseball banned for life in 1989 for betting on baseball games. Some supporters see this ruling as a renewed chance to put Pete Rose in the Hall of Fame. Unfortunately for them, this ruling has no bearing on Rose at all.
Rose violated baseball’s internal rules on gambling, which is separate from today’s ruling. Despite no connection, many of Rose’s fans immediately began to wonder if this ruling might nudge the MLB towards reconsidering his lifetime ban. The National Baseball Hall of Fame decided that anyone who is banned from Major League Baseball is not eligible of induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Those on the lifetime ban list include Shoeless Joe Jackson and Hal Chase. It’s an interesting idea to consider. The problem though is that the MLB has already ruled on Rose’s reinstatement. In other words, Rose’s chances of being reinstated are about as strong as me getting a PhD in Applied Mathematics from Princeton University.
Push to Put Pete Rose in Hall of Fame Continue to Hit Dead End
There are many baseball fans who’d love nothing more than to put Pete Rose in the Hall of Fame. He certainly has the numbers. But his fans need to remember that gambling laws had very little to do with his lifetime ban. I think Rose should be in the Hall of Fame. The Supreme Court’s ruling isn’t the nudge that’ll make that happen though. Rose accepted MLB’s lifetime ban in 1989 and should have understood what that meant. Confessing to gambling in 2004 didn’t help his case. So why would this ruling be any different?