By Anthony Rhoads
In the last week or so, it's been kind of hard to miss Pete Rose being in the news.
Rose has finally admitted to betting on baseball and talk has resurfaced again on whether he should be admitted to the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Was Rose a great ball player? Yes.
Was he a man of great character? No.
Does he deserve to be in the Hall of Fame? Yes he certainly does have Hall of Fame credentials, but he cannot be admitted right now. If he is to be considered for the Hall, he needs to be reinstated to the game. It would be a travesty to let someone in the Hall who is under a lifetime ban from baseball.
If you reinstate Rose, what about the players from the 1919 Chicago White Sox? Most of the those players deserved to be banned from baseball but what about Buck Weaver, who never took any money and never agreed to throw the ?19 World Series.
If you reinstate Rose, you would have to reinstate Weaver. Some folks have said that ?Shoeless' Joe Jackson deserves to be reinstated but I can't agree. While he had a great performance in the 1919 World Series, he hit the only home run in the Series, he reportedly did accept money to throw the Series. I don't think you could justify reinstating Jackson.
Who is a hero?: I am not a Rose fan. While I do admire how hard he played, he doesn't deserved to be elevated to ?hero' status. In fact, no athlete deserves to be declared a hero for what they do on the field of play.
What happens on the field of play has no bearing on the real world. Scoring 30 points a game or throwing four touchdowns in a game is not going to cure cancer. Yes, it's fun to watch such performances but ultimately, it's just a game.
When it comes to heroes, look at someone like Everett Alvarez.
On Aug. 5, 1964, the Navy pilot was shot during a bombing raid of North Vietnam. More than eight years later on Feb. 12, 1973, he was finally released along with nearly 600 of his comrades.
Alvarez was the first American Navy pilot to be captured by the North Vietnamese and was held as a POW longer than any other American during the Vietnam War.
After the war, Alvarez continued his naval career, retiring as a commander. In civilian life, he continued to serve his country and went on to become deputy director of the Peace Corps and deputy administrator for the Veteran's Administration.
On top of that, he's become a successful businessman as founder of Conwal, Inc., a management consulting firm in McLean, Va.
"It was a maturing process," he said of his time as a POW. " In order to survive the harshness, the
terrible things we had to go through, we had to hold onto our core values and beliefs. In doing so it was a tempering process of our characters. When you come out, you recognize there are obstacles in life, but you work your way through them and press on. You recognize also what's most important in life, and that's having your family and those you love around you. Material wealth is not as important, certainly not as important as health. You recognize how short life is, and how little time you have to go out and do something not only for yourself but for others."
That is a real hero.
Anthony Rhoads is a sports writer for The Daily. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.