Johnny missed his normal Tuesday article last week as he was vacationing with Mrs. Goodman in the lovely town of Las Vegas Nevada. As surprising as it may be, yours truly ran into none other than Peter Edward Rose at the sports book at the Mirage Hotel and Casino.

Pete was making an appearance somewhere at the Hotel or a nearby hotel doing an autograph session, as I saw a number of folks walking around later that day wearing autographed jerseys and hats or carrying photos. I for one did not bother asking for an autograph from Pete Rose, as I have heard countless stories about him charging for his signature no matter what the venue or occasion, however I did break the ice with him by offering him one of the multitude of my free drink tickets, which he accepted.

We spoke about baseball for a few short minutes – he even mentioned that one of his favorite hitters in the game today is Troy Tulowitzki, and then I was rudely interrupted by an East Coaster who just barged into the conversation like he had known Pete Rose since he was three years old (shocking I know).

Many thoughts crossed my mind in this short time speaking casually to the all-time hit leader of major league baseball. Are you pissed off that you are banned for life? Do you wish you would have admitted you gambled on baseball right out of the gate instead of admitting it years later? Do you miss the limelight that you could have gotten if you would be able to display your Hall of Fame ring wherever you go?

I am sure Pete as some regrets. The saga around his banishment from baseball basically became a grudge match between the Commissioner Bart Giamatti, and Rose when the details of his gambling came out. I still feel strongly that if Pete would have admitted to all his indiscretions right away that the result today would be different. There is no doubt that his credentials or the way he played the game (he is known as Charlie Hustle for cryin’ out loud!) would have been more than enough to get him a guaranteed first ballot vote into the Hall. Some argue that once Pete is gone from the earth, the Commissioner at that time may elect to remove his ban, as it is doubtful that no one has been more hotly debated about getting into Cooperstown, with the possible exception of Shoeless Joe Jackson.

As we move away from the so called “ Steroid Era “ in baseball it will be interesting to see how the likes of Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, Barry Bonds, and others are viewed. Baseball writers are a fickle bunch, many having a holier than thou attitude and the thought that they are the gatekeepers of the National Pastime.

This I know for certain, all the baseball issues for Pete Rose are in his past, he still is a person that likes to gamble, and I hope he enjoyed the free drink from Johnny Goodman.

What do you think, readers?  Should Pete be in the Hall of Fame?  What about the guys from the steroid era?

Until next time, Stay classy Cincinnati!

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Johnny Goodman writes a weekly sports column for The Soap Boxers. His articles can be found in The Goodman File.

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