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Two Historic MLB Scandals

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Major League BaseballIn 1987 Joe Niekro was pitching for the Minnesota Twins against the then California Angles when the home plate umpire noticed that the balls that Niekro was pitching seemed “all scuffed up” by something abrasive.  When the plate umpire went out to the mound and had Niekro turn out his pockets, a small emery board, like the one that your wife uses on her nails, dropped onto the pitcher’s mound.  He was thrown out of the game and later suspended.  Joe Niekro is the younger brother of MLB Hall of Fame Pitcher Phil Niekro.  Joe tried to claim that the emery board was for him to file his finger nails with so that they would be smooth enough to deliver his knuckleball effectively.  Later that year, Niekro appeared on the Late Night with David Letterman wearing a carpenter’s apron and carrying a power sander while still serving his suspension for having a nail fine on the mound.  Go figure.

Pete Rose played 3rd Base, Outfielder, 2nd Base, 1st Base and Manager.  He was active in Major League Baseball from 1963 to 1989 starting and finishing with the Cincinnati Reds but playing for the Phillies from ’79-’83.  Rose carried the nickname “Charlie Hustle”.  He also presents us with one of the most perplexing situations ever recorded in professional sports.

Pete Rose is still the all time MLB leading hitter with 4,256; he played more games than anyone else ever has, 3,562.  He had more at bats with 14,053 and more outs with 10,328 than any other player in the history of Major League Baseball.

He was the Rookie of the Year and he made 18 All Star appearances at 4 different positions, something else that no one else has done.

Rose has three World Series Rings, three National League batting titles, two Gold Glove Awards and one MVP Award.

But in 1989, three years after his retirement, accusations arose that he had gambled on baseball games while playing for and managing the Reds, including claims that he bet on his own team.  These accusations and subsequent investigations have led to Pete Rose being awarded a “permanent ineligibility from baseball”.  In 1991 he was voted “permanently ineligible” to be inducted into the MLB Hall of Fame.  The issue of Rose’s chances of ever making it into the Hall of Fame remains a hot topic of conversation for baseball fans everywhere.

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