“Pete Rose didn’t do any harm to the game of baseball,” said Vilacky, who runs a store called Safe at Home. “He did harm to himself.” Vilacky said he calls the rule instituted by the Hall in 1991 “the Pete Rose rule” because Rose is the only living retired baseball player impacted by it.
As a museum dedicated to education, he said, the Hall could opt to tell Rose’s “complete story” — warts and all — rather than denying him a chance at a berth in the baseball shrine.
In addition to Joe Morgan, the Hall’s board includes four other former players who are also Hall of Famers — Phil Niekro, Frank Robinson, Brooks Robinson and Tom Seaver. The commissioner of Major League Baseball, Bud Selig, is also a director.
The board’s chairwoman is Jane Forbes Clark, whose family foundation, the Clark Foundation, also controls the Bassett Healthcare Network, the Otesaga Hotel, the Fenimore Art Museum, the Clark Sports Center and other properties in the Cooperstown area.
The vice chairman of the Hall of Fame board, Morgan, a Hall of Famer himself, told USA Today last August that he thinks Rose, now 72, should be eligible for induction now that the Hall allows consideration of players who used performance-enhancing drugs.
“I think if you’re going to allow guys with PEDs on the ballot, then we have to allow him to be on the ballot,” Morgan told the newspaper. “Let’s face it, he’s been punished for 24 years. I think they have to take a second look at Pete now that this has come out.”