Article Overview:   Pete Rose has been exiled from baseball for 14 years.   He has walked in the Shadow of the Beast of Terror and survived the Fear, Intimidation and Complacency.   Is it time for him to sprout the Wings of Vigilance?   Is Pete Rose a role model for kids who fall down and make mistakes?   Is his travels through the world of exile worthy of removing the sanctions against him?   Find out.


Friday, January 9, 2004—Ground Zero Plus 849

Pete Rose vs. the
Beast of Baseball Terror

Cliff McKenzie

GROUND ZER0, New York, N.Y.--Jan. 9, 2004 -- The Beast of Baseball Hall of Fame Terror is stalking Pete Rose.

Pete Rose ranks as an all-time great baseball player

Pete Rose was ousted from baseball when he was caught betting

      Rose, one of baseball's most outstanding players, was ousted from baseball when he was caught betting, a taboo that led to his exile from the game.
      Without doubt, Pete Rose ranks as an all-time great baseball player.  He broke Ty Cobbs hitting record of 4,191 on September 11, 1985 with his 4,192nd hit.   At the time of his retirement as a player, he racked up 4,256 hits.
         September 11, 2001 was a Terror Day for America and ironically September 11, 1985 was ultimately a Terror Day for Pete.  What might have marked a day when he was assured a place in the Baseball Hall of Fame resulted instead in a disaster.   Pete's Twin Towers were smashed when his compulsion to bet on the game ripped from his grasp any hope of being waltzed into baseball's Hall of Fame.

"The banishment for life of Pete Rose from baseball is the sad end of a sorry episode. One of the game's greatest players has engaged in a variety of acts which have stained the game, and he must now live with the consequences of those acts. By choosing not to come to a hearing before me, and by choosing not to proffer any testimony or evidence contrary to the evidence and information contained in the report of the Special Counsel to the Commissioner, Mr. Rose has accepted baseball's ultimate sanction, lifetime ineligibility." 

Statement by then Commissioner
of Baseball, A. Bartlett Giamatti,
August 24, 1989

        The Baseball Hall of Fame opened for business on June 12, 1939 with 13 legends as its first occupants.   Not all of them were spotless moral characters off the baseball field.   Babe Ruth was known as a boozer and womanizer.  Ty Cobb was a well-known racist.   Since the first group was legendized, more than 250 other baseball heroes have earned their way into Cooperstown.    It has been suggested that if the bigots, alcoholics, wife beaters, absentee fathers and misanthropes were removed from Cooperstown, the walls would be nearly naked.

Pete Rose's exile has lasted now for 14 years

       Pete Rose's crime was betting not beating, playing the game of chance not drinking or drugging or beating on his wife.    But, the Beast of Baseball Terror hooked his talons into Pete Rose, flying around his neck like the albatross in the Ancient Mariner.
       Pete's exile has lasted now for 14 years.  He has been told that if he confesses his crimes in public, if he humbles himself openly, he might be pardoned.    He might be allowed to be eligible for the Hall of Fame where his picture and stats could be displayed with his name and title:  Gambler!  
        Is Pete Rose a victim of baseball Vigilance?
        The Christian Science Monitor poll seems to support the position that Pete doesn't deserve a place in the Hall of Fame.   In a current poll on its website, 73 percent of the votes are against him.     Conversely, a television trial was played out the other evening with Johnny Cochran defending Pete Rose.  The jury voted in favor of Pete's reinstatement back into baseball, allowing him to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.

Not everything in the world is fair

        It seems a bit odd that Pete Rose should be put on the crucifix of his profession when former Presidents of the United States who lied to the nation still receive full benefits and accolades.
        Not everything in the world is fair.
        And that's the key.
        In his own way, Pete Rose is more of a hero than most of his compatriots in the Hall of Fame.   For fourteen years he has been deprived of honor, locked in a prison of shame and moral shadows spoiling his career.    He has been a "detainee" of the Beast of Terror, a suspect of moral Terrorism, convicted and sentenced without much of a trial.
        And, he hasn't given up his fight to reclaim his status--not as a moral giant--but as a baseball hero.    He's here in New York City signing his new book, a compilation of his life in which he admits he bet on baseball while managing.

Is Rose's new book an honest mea culpa?

        He has been told if he publicly confesses, he might be reinstated.   Whether the book is a swing Rose is making at the ball of reinstatement, or an honest mea culpa, only he knows.
        What is for sure is that he has faced the Triads of Terrorism--Fear, Intimidation and Complacency.  And, he's battled them with Courage, Conviction and Right Actions that benefit the Children's Children's Children.
        He has become a Sentinel of Vigilance in many ways.    Let's examine why.   First, Pete Rose has paid the price.   He has suffered for his crimes, and instead of turning away from them, has faced them.
        If role modeling is a factor in entering the Hall of Fame--which historically seems to be at question (Mickey Mantle--where's the next drink?   Joe DiMaggio--we heard you were a nasty egotistical, selfish, ragefully jealous man)--then Pete's struggle to right himself is worthy of note.
        How many kids make mistakes and then stop and feel they are failures, never fighting to learn from those mistakes or renew their lives with more wisdom because of the error?
        One of the great role models of all times is the person who falls down and gets up and falls down and gets up and falls down and gets up.   For fourteen years, Pete Rose has walked in the shadow of the Beast of Terror.   He has battled the Beast in many ways.

It took Courage for Pete Rose to stand up and admit his fault

        Did it take Courage to stand up and admit fault?   Did it take Conviction to spill your guts in a book so the world could inspect every nook and cranny of your existence?  Is the Right Action that benefits the future generations to stand up for yourself even though the world has exiled you?
        Perhaps more moral lessons exist in Pete Rose's exile than any he might have created as player.    Would a mother or father want their child to learn how to change behavior that hurt them?   Would a mother or father want their child not to give up on their self image when the world around them continued to castigate them and make them feel less than they were.

It's time for Pete Rose to sprout the Wings of Vigilance and fly out of the Valley of the Beast

       When Pete Rose said the other night on a television interview:  "I have learned a great deal from my mistakes," I considered that statement more powerful than breaking Ty Cobb's hitting record.  
        If Vigilance is anything, it is learning from mistakes.   It is about shifting and changing our lives so we are not easy pickings of the Beast of Terror.
        The great role model for children is the guy or gal who stands up when others try and beat them down, and is willing to do what is necessary to keep trudging even when it seems fruitless.
        Pete Rose has walked in the Valley of the Shadow of the Beast for far too long.  It's time for him to sprout the Wings of Vigilance and fly out.
        I vote for Pete Rose to enter the Sentinels of Vigilance Hall of Fame, for his Courage, Conviction and Right Actions have earned him far more than a bronzed baseball and a plaque next to bigots, drunks, abusers and misanthropes.

Some Highlighted Stories From Last Year

Dec 31 Bush's New Year's Message:  Era Of Vigilance
Dec. 30
Walking The Path Of Terror: The 839th Day

Dec 29 Terrorism's New Year's Ball
Dec 27-28
Indiscriminate Terrorism:  Mother Nature's WMD
Dec. 26
The Beast Attacks Like The Mad Cow Disease
Dec 25
Learn The Secrets Of Vigilance On Christmas Day
Dec 24
Eve Of The Youngest Sentinels Of VigilancePart V of V
Dec 23
Parable Of The Ant & The Leaf: The Third Secret Of Vigilance
Part IV of V from the Legends Of Christmas Vigilance
Dec 22
 Part III of V:  How Rock Candy Banished Darkness From The Land Of Vigilance
Dec 21
Part II of V:  The First Secret Of Vigilance
Dec. 20
Part I of V--The Legend Of Christmas Vigilance.
Dec. 19
What Do Michael Jackson & Saddam Hussein Have In Common?
Dec. 18
Torturing Saddam In The Zoo Of Vigilance
Dec 17
Interview With Saddam In His Iraqi Rat Hole
Dec 16
New Drug Fights Teenage Beast Of Terror
Dec 15 Capturing Weapons Of Mass Destruction:  Saddam Hussein

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