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Pete Rose-Colored Glasses: A Case For Charlie Hustle01:51
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Pete Rose has been on a quest to be in the Hall of Fame. Despite betting as a manager... and potentially as a player, Bill Littlefield believes the all-time hits leader should get his own plaque in Cooperstown. (Bob Daugherty/AP)
Pete Rose has been on a quest to be in the Hall of Fame. Despite betting as a manager... and potentially as a player, Bill Littlefield believes the all-time hits leader should get his own plaque in Cooperstown. (Bob Daugherty/AP)
This article is more than 4 years old.

This week, ESPN revealed evidence that Pete Rose bet on games when he was a player — a transgression the all-time hits leader has denied. But Bill Littlefield thinks he should still be enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame. 

Pete Rose bet on the horses, and he probably bet on dogs…
It’s 3-1 that he bet turtles, falling off of logs.
He bet enough that sometimes he got in a little deep.
He may have placed a bet or two when he was fast asleep.
When first accused of betting, Pete maintained he didn’t do it.
The evidence from gangsters? Pete said there was nothing to it.
But then he said he might’ve, sort of, bet on baseball teams,
Though never one he managed in his most outrageous dreams.
Except he backed off that, as well, and with an impish grin,
He said he bet the team he ran, but only bet to win.
But when he was a player? Never! That Pete didn’t do:
He said so, and perhaps he was convinced that it was true.
It wasn’t, as it turns out, and it isn’t, and today,
Who knows what Pete, confronted, will step out somewhere and say?

It doesn’t matter, does it? Who’d believe him anyway?
The time for Pete to speak is past, but I would like to say,
That though he is a gambler who has lied much like a rug,
And though he’s no role model…though he’s something of a thug…
He should be in the Hall of Fame. Bear with me for a bit:
Pete Rose is full of beans, I know, but he could really hit.
The Hall is for the famous: be they dirty, be they clean.
It’s full of hustlers, pigs, and racists, fellows who were mean
To women that they cheated on and
children they denied…
As well as men who gambled on the games they played, and lied
About the money changing hands and games they kicked away
To pocket what they could and then to play another day.

Pete doesn’t smell like roses. That will never be the case.
But famous? Yes, he’s all of that. He should be in the place,
Where all the most accomplished of the players finally dwell.
If they were great at what they did, who cares how bad they smell?
To those who cry, “Think of the children,” here’s what I would say:
“Hit just like Pete. Play just as hard. Just never live that way.”

More Rhymes With Bill Littlefield:

Bill Littlefield Twitter Host, Only A Game
Bill Littlefield was the host of Only A Game from 1993 until 2018.

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