As we near another season, the sport’s all-time hits leader remains banned from baseball and its Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. It’s a stark problem in America’s pastime: some of its greatest players, including its home run champion Barry Bonds and other bashers from the steroid era, have an uneasy relationship with the sport and a worse one with fans, media and the record book.
But Pete Rose’s situation is different. His banishment has dragged on for more than two decades — and no one doubts the brilliance of his performance on the field.
In his new book Pete Rose: An American Dilemma, Sports Illustrated editor Kostya Kennedy shows Rose in all his complications: needy but defiant, demanding but softening in his 70s.