(Reuters) – Lawyers for Pete Rose have sent a letter to the Baseball Hall of Fame seeking a rule amendment that would clear the way for Major League Baseball’s all-time hits leader to be considered for induction into the shrine.
Jon Shestakofsky, spokesman for the National Baseball Hall of Fame located in Cooperstown, New York confirmed to Reuters that Hall president Jeff Idelson had received a letter from Rose’s attorneys on Thursday but was out of the office and has not yet seen it.
Rose has been ineligible for Hall of Fame consideration since being banned in 1989 for allegedly gambling on games while playing for and managing the Cincinnati Reds.
The letter is believed to be asking for changes to Rule 3A, also known as the Pete Rose Rule, that says any player on baseball’s ineligible list cannot be considered for induction into the Hall.
Rose had his bid to overturn the ban denied last December by MLB commissioner Rob Manfred due in part to his admission that he still bets on baseball.
In a written decision, Manfred said that it would be an “unacceptable risk” to let him back in the game.
Rose, 75, had denied for nearly 16 years that he had bet on baseball, the game’s cardinal sin since 1919 when members of the Chicago White Sox conspired to throw the World Series.
He finally admitted in his 2004 autobiography to making baseball wagers when he was Cincinnati’s manager but said he never bet against his team.
Manfred said Rose could still participate in ceremonial activities that presented no threat to the integrity of the game, provided the events were approved by him in advance.
(Reporting by Steve Keating in Toronto. Editing by Larry Fine)