It now seems clear that one of the first orders of business following election to the Hall of Fame is for the new inductees to announce their positions on the status of Pete Rose. True to form, Mssrs. Boggs and Sandberg both urged that Rose be admitted. It should be noted Rose, who is not on the official ballot, received the fewest number of write-in votes this time around since his five-year waiting period following retirement elapsed. (It would have been simpler to write “since he became eligible” except for one minor detail: he isn’t.)
Next year is the last one in which Rose would have been eligible for election by the Baseball Writers Association of America. After 2006, should he become eligible, which I hope will never be the case, he would have to be voted in by the veterans committee. As currently constituted, that committee is more likely to rename the MVP awards the Charley Finley Award in the AL and the Marge Schott Award in the NL. But, as the current veterans retire or move on to that diamond in the sky, the generation of veterans who played with or against Rose will take their places and they tend to be much more sympathetic judging from their comments over the years.