Subscribe

Could Pete Rose help Donald Trump in Ohio?

Pete Rose, the baseball legend cum disgrace, is throwing his support behind Trump, just 48 hours away from the Ohio primary.

  • close
    Former Cincinnati Reds player and manager Pete Rose, photographed during a press conference, where it was announced that he will be inducted into the Reds Hall of Fame, Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2016, in Cincinnati.
    Gary Landers/Associated Press
    View Caption
  • About video ads
    View Caption
of

Watch out, John Kasich. Just two days shy of the Ohio primary, Donald Trump has revealed one more trick up his sleeve – former baseball player Pete Rose.

The Republican presidential hopeful tweeted a photo of a baseball Sunday night apparently signed by Mr. Rose, a former Cincinnati Red and an Ohio native. “Mr. Trump,” the baseball read, “Please make America great again.” Trump added that he had just received it, symbolizing an endorsement of sorts.

Although polls put Trump behind the leader in the state race, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, the real estate mogul is still setting his sights on the winner-take-all primary Tuesday, and he’s cutting it close. The latest poll numbers place him at an average of a mere two percentage points behind Mr. Kasich.

Could Pete Rose tip the balance?

As manager of the Reds, Rose was banned for life from Major League Baseball after he was caught betting on games in 1989. Rose agreed to the ban after a MLB investigation found that he placed numerous bets on the Reds from 1985-87 while he was a player and manager of the team. 

Still, in Ohio, to many he’s beloved sports figure – especially among Trump’s key supporters: older white men.

"Where he tends to run up the score is with 40-plus white men," Mack Mariani, Xavier University political science professor, told Cincinnati.com. "Those are people who grew up with Pete Rose. That’s a smart fit for Trump's voters.”

Stumping in West Chester, Ohio Sunday night, Trump garnered exceptional cheers when he brought up Rose and his baseball legacy.

"I love Cincinnati," the GOP front runner said. "By the way, Pete Rose, let him in."

The crowd burst into applause.

"We gotta let Pete Rose in the Hall of Fame," he added. "I don't know what Major League Baseball is doing."

While the Reds announced early this year that Rose will be celebrated this summer with a commissioned statue to be built in his honor and the retirement of his number, 14, the league has yet to budge on his lifetime ban.

"I am also not convinced that he has avoided the type of conduct and associations that originally led to his placement on the permanently ineligible list," current commissioner Rob Manfred wrote in his decision upholding the ban in December.

And Trump’s allegiance with Rose isn’t wholly strategic, as he spoke out in favor of the all-time hit leader’s reinstatement last year and on at least two other occasions.

"Let Pete Rose into the Baseball Hall of Fame,” he wrote on Twitter last July. “It's time, he has paid a big and very long price!”

Rose, indeed, has publicly apologized for his past.

As The Washington Post’s Justin Wm. Moyer points out, Rose’s public persona has resulted in a public narrative connection between him and the billionaire reality television star.

“While Trump and Rose have not led parallel lives – Rose did five months for tax evasion while Trump was building up his casino empire – they have sometimes been linked in the public consciousness,” Mr. Moyer writes, going on to cite a 1989 Howard Simon column that mentions both men by name.

“In the recent past, people have hailed Ollie North, Donald Trump and even Pete Rose as American heroes,” the sports commentator wrote. “If those are the type of men our society would have as heroes, I think I’m moving to Canada.”

Rose has yet to confirm his official endorsement for the candidate. But the two men have one more thing in common: Trump himself was once scouted by the Phillies

About these ads
Sponsored Content by LockerDome
 
 
Make a Difference
Inspired? Here are some ways to make a difference on this issue.
FREE Newsletters
Get the Monitor stories you care about delivered to your inbox.
 

We want to hear, did we miss an angle we should have covered? Should we come back to this topic? Or just give us a rating for this story. We want to hear from you.

Loading...

Loading...

Loading...

Save for later

Save
Cancel

Saved ( of items)

This item has been saved to read later from any device.
Access saved items through your user name at the top of the page.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You reached the limit of 20 saved items.
Please visit following link to manage you saved items.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You have already saved this item.

View Saved Items

OK