Pete Rose, kicked out of baseball because of his gambling, today was banned from the Hall of Fame when a rule was adopted to exclude players on the permanently ineligible list.
Rose, the all-time hits leader, is the only living person on the ineligible list.The Hall's board of directors voted 12-0 to accept the proposal presented last month by a special committee.
"The directors felt that it would be incongruous to have a person who has been declared ineligible by baseball to be eligible for baseball's highest honor," Hall of Fame president Ed Stack said. "It follows that if such individual is reinstated by baseball, then such individual would be a candidate for election."
Rose is now living at a Cincinnati halfway house while completing his sentence for cheating on his taxes. He had spent five months at a federal prison camp in Marion, Ill.
Rose, working today as a part-time gym teacher at an inner city elementary school, was not immediately available for comment.
Although the new rule does not specifically mention the former Cincinnati Reds player and manager, it states that no one on baseball's permanently ineligible list can appear on the ballot - mailed each December to 10-year veterans of the Baseball Writer's Association of America. Rose would be eligible for the first time in December.
Rose was kicked out of baseball Aug. 24, 1989 after an investigation into allegations that he bet on games.
A special committee of the Hall voted 7-3 on Jan. 10 for a rule that would prohibit players on the ineligible list from being considered for election by the BWAA.
Four members of the special committee who voted against Rose also are Hall directors.
"It's out of my hands," Rose said on Jan. 14 in his only public comment on the Hall vote.
Four the 16 directors did not attend the meeting. Commissioner Fay Vincent is vacationing in Jamaica and Hall of Famer Charlie Gehringer has stopped attending Hall meetings.
The majority of the board consists of baseball's old guard, a group that fears Rose may win election to the Hall one day. Although the guidelines on the ballot say that character should be taken into consideration, many writers have said they would vote for Rose based only on his on-the-field accomplishments.
Rose was placed on the permanently ineligible list on Aug. 23, 1989, by the late commissioner A. Bartlett Giamatti following a six-month investigation. Giamatti determined that Rose placed bets on baseball games while he was managing Cincinnati, including the Reds.