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LETTERS TO THE TIMES

Is Pete's Place in Baseball's Hallowed Hall?

September 06, 2003

Re "For Love of the Game, if Not for Pete's Sake," Opinion, Aug. 31: With due respect to Robert David Jaffee, he is misguided in his effort to save major league baseball via putting Pete Rose in the Hall of Fame. Baseball does not need to condone betting on the game in order to better itself. If we are to celebrate scrappy players, let's celebrate a team like the 2002 Angels, which personified hustle and grit. Baseball must look ahead to remedies in equitable revenue-sharing and distribution of talent, not backward to tainted icons.

Regarding Jaffee's points on Commissioner Bart Giamatti: Giamatti cared passionately about baseball and gave his all to make it a better game. Rose cared about himself above all. It's time to get past Rose's sad contribution and move on.

Willis Nalle

Beverly Hills

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Rose owns more baseball records than any member of the Hall of Fame. Peter Ueberroth, in his one term as commissioner of baseball, induced the owners to collude against salary contracts, resulting in baseball being fined over $100 million. Today, Rose is kept out of the baseball Hall of Fame for gambling. Today, Ueberroth is running for governor of California. There must be a moral to this story.

Irving Zeiger

Los Angeles

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Jaffee seeks to return baseball to glory by ending the hypocrisy that has led to a downward spiral of our national sport. Perhaps a better solution is not to treat Rose as we have treated other wayward athletes but to treat others as Rose was treated. Baseball doesn't need more coddling of athletes. Tough love and a good housecleaning might better serve baseball.

Nate Brown

Glendale

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