Throughout the history of America’s pastime, baseball has continually battled scandals and controversies. From the 1919 “Black Sox” scandal to the current steroid debate, baseball has lived in a century of turmoil. While many of these scandals affected multiple players and brought shame to teams, none have affected a single player more than the 1980’s Pete Rose betting scandal. Aside from the public humiliation he brought his family and the Cincinnati Reds, nothing has done more to hurt Pete Rose than his lifetime ban from baseball making him ineligible for hall of fame. While many are for and against putting Pete Rose in the hall of fame, the four ethical theories, Kantianism, Utilitarianism, Egoism, and Ethical Realism, each have their own unique answer to the question. Through Kantianism Pete Rose should be inducted into the hall of fame, while Egoism, Utilitarianism and Ethical Realism all support the lifetime ban.
Before beginning a dissection of the reasoning behind each theory, let us look into who Pete Rose is and why he received a lifetime ban from baseball. Peter Edward Rose was a Major League Baseball (MLB) player with the Cincinnati Reds from 1963-1978. From here Pete went on to join the Philadelphia Phillies and the Montreal Expos, now the Washington Nationals, before returning to the Reds as a player-manager in 1984 before becoming the full-time manager in 1986. During his time as a player Pete was able to compile numerous records and awards. He was the 1963 National League Rookie of the Year, a two-time Gold Glove winner, a three-time World Series winner, the 1975 World Series Most Valuable Player, and selected to the All-Star team 17 times. On top of the accolades Pete Rose is MLB’s career leader in hits with 4,256, at-bats with 14,053, and the career leader in games played at 3,562. However, among all these many accomplishments lies an even greater embarrassment.
After retiring entirely from baseball both as a manager and as a player, Pete Rose was believed to have placed bets on multiple baseball games including his Cincinnati Reds. After investigations by Major League Baseball and the lawyer John M. Dowd, they were able to discover that Rose had bet on multiple Reds games, but were unable to discover whether Rose had ever bet against the Reds, like the Black Sox scandal. With the Commissioner of baseball, Bart Giamatti, pushing the case to the federal level, Rose and Giamatti came to an agreement which included Rose’s lifetime ban from baseball. During his lifetime ban, Rose came clean stating that he did bet on the Reds in his autobiography in 2004. Currently, Pete Rose continues to serve his lifetime ban, hoping to one day manage another team and enter the hall of fame.
Knowing that Pete Rose continues his ban from baseball, we can begin by looking at the ethical theories which agree with keeping Rose out of the hall of fame. Egoism, the idea of acting in manner which is best for me, is a theory which does not lead Rose...