Allan H. (Bud) Selig, Commissioner
245 Park Avenue, 31st Floor
New York, NY 10167
The passing of former San Francisco 49ers Head Coach Bill Walsh was sad news for many in the world of sports. Tagged as the father of the West Coast Offense, Walsh’s lineage of influence is heavily evident in today’s National Football League.
The same is true for the influence Pete Rose has had on the game of baseball and many of Major League Baseball’s athletes today. I imagine that a lot of them aren’t aware of it though, and that’s just not good enough. Bill Walsh, like Rose, won three championships. The difference is that, if you visit the NFL’s Hall in Canton, Ohio, you’ll see a bust of Walsh. Seven current or former NFL head coaches were employed by regimes Walsh led. The watersheds displayed by those students of his have also led to other successful coaching stints. The man is a football icon, and will forever be remembered as such.
Regardless of the fact that some don’t want to admit that Rose is a baseball icon, it’s a fact. He is. Rose’s placement in Cooperstown would help link generations of fans and players alike. That same lineage would be more evident to those that know little about Rose beyond his gambling scandal. This is about baseball and the preservation of the game. To a degree, you could argue that Rose’s gambling were decisions he made in his personal life. It can’t be said that Bill Walsh was a perfect man, but he’s remembered today and for years to come for his accomplishments. The same should be said for Rose. Please, Mr. Commissioner, lift the ban.