A Baseball Vacation Story

Hello from Las Vegas where it is hotter than a sauna in the desert. Interesting story while taking a stroll through one of the malls here. It was in this spot six years ago that I saw the sad sight of Pete Rose yelling at people passing by, asking if they wanted his autograph. Back at that time he was still considered popular among the majority of baseball fans based on his continuous denial. Still, to this day, Rose remains an interesting enigma and a sad story about how gambling can impact lives.

I had always believed that Rose had greatly profited off his banishment and almost relished from his legacy. He had held signature sessions during Hall of Fame week in Cooperstown for money, and he had blatently lied year after year to the media about gambling. Most importantly, the book he produced with his admission, was purely a financial play and meant to keep the satisfaction of the gambling announcement away from the commissioner. 

It was clearly not a surprise then this week to see Rose in the same spot that I had seen him in those many years ago. With nearly 70 years of age on him, and countless WWE (wrestling) appearances since I last saw him, Rose seemingly looks like a man desperate to make every penny. If I had not thought lowly enough about the all-time hits leader, look at the inscriptions I found next to his signature on two baseballs:

“Hits: 4,256, Steroids: 0”

“I’m sorry I bet on baseball. -Pete Rose”

Rose’s story should have had a better ending than the one we were all provided. The “why nows?” still prevail and the legacy that was done on the field is tarnished in signed baseballs and unheartfelt apologies.