Pomrenke: A Rose by another name: Ray Fisher’s ban from baseball

From SABR member Jacob Pomrenke at The National Pastime Museum on June 11, 2015:

“Charlie Hustle” was back in the news recently, making his case for reinstatement. Pete Rose’s banishment from baseball is a saga that’s well known to most fans—the then-Cincinnati Reds manager agreed to a lifetime ban from Commissioner Bart Giamatti in 1989 after an investigation revealed that he had bet on his own team for years. His actions cast doubt on the integrity of those games and violated baseball’s cardinal rule against gambling, enacted after the 1919 World Series was tarnished by the Black Sox Scandal.

For the last quarter-century, it seems that no season can pass by without a mention of baseball’s all-time Hit King, the last player who was subject to the game’s ultimate punishment. Rose has made a loud and public call to have his name cleared and gain eligibility for the Hall of Fame, and his many supporters and fans have taken up the cause, in Cincinnati and beyond. Baseball’s new commissioner, Rob Manfred, has said that he will consider the possibility of reinstatement and plans to meet with Rose to discuss the case.

While it’s unlikely that Rose’s ban will be lifted anytime soon, he wouldn’t be the first Cincinnati Reds player to be “permanently” banned from baseball—and then reinstated years later.

The story of Ray Fisher is mostly forgotten today, but the Major League pitcher turned legendary college coach serves as a direct link between the Black Sox Scandal and Pete Rose’s Reds. Fisher spent his six decades in baseball purgatory dedicated to teaching the game to young players at the University of Michigan, few of whom knew about the harsh punishment he was serving in silence. Fisher’s case provides an important precedent for Rose in his hope to be restored to baseball’s good graces. He’s also a prime example of how baseball’s “permanent” bans are sometimes anything but.

Read the full article here: http://www.thenationalpastimemuseum.com/article/rose-another-name-ray-fishers-ban-baseball-0

Originally published: June 11, 2015. Last Updated: June 11, 2015.