Exactly 10 years after Pete Rose agreed to his lifetime ban from baseball, commissioner Bud Selig said the sport's career hits leader would be invited to the World Series if he's elected to the All-Century team.
Rose was snubbed by baseball last month when the living players among the 100 on the All-Century ballot participated in a memorable on-field ceremony before the All-Star game. Rose wasn't asked to a pregame luncheon with the others on the ballot.
"Whoever is elected to that team will be invited to the World Series," Selig said Monday.
Fans vote for the top 25 players, and the All-Century team will be announced before the World Series opener Oct. 23. Nine outfielders will make the team, and Rose was ninth in the latest vote totals, which were released last week.
Selig said he hadn't reversed his position and said the decision to invite Rose if he's elected doesn't affect his status as a banned player. At the All-Star game, 98 of the 100 players on the ballot were honored with banners hanging at Fenway Park Rose and Shoeless Joe Jackson, banned as a result of the Chicago Black Sox scandal in 1919 were exceptions.
"This is a result of an election, and I felt that in terms of what baseball does, those people who are elected ought to be asked to come," Selig said. "But does it change his status or anything else? The answer is no."
Rose said last week that he had heard rumors he might be invited if he's elected.
"That's good news for me to hear, that he's OK with me being part of the All-Century team," Rose said.
Then manager of the Cincinnati Reds, Rose signed an agreement accepting the lifetime ban on Aug. 23, 1989. While the agreement made no official finding, commissioner A. Bartlett Giamatti said at a news conference the following day that he concluded Rose had bet on Reds' games.
As part of the agreement, Rose may not work with major league teams or their minor league affiliates. He also may not be in any part of any ballpark or training complex that is not open to fans with tickets.
Rose, 58, applied for reinstatement in September 1997. While Selig hasn't ruled, he also has said he sees no reason to change the lifetime ban, one of just 15 ever issued by the commissioner of baseball.
Rose is ineligible for the Hall of Fame as long as he's banned for life. No person ever permanently banned has ever been reinstated.
"It seems that in our society, 99 out of 100 guys are given another opportunity," Rose said. "I'm the one out of 100 that's not being given another opportunity, which is mind-boggling to me."
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