LAKELAND, Fla. (AP) — The head of the Major League Baseball Players Association says he wants Pete Rose to be reinstated.
Former All-Star first baseman Tony Clark made the remarks to reporters at spring training Tuesday, a day after new commissioner Rob Manfred said he had received an application from Rose.
Baseball's career hits leader agreed to a lifetime ban in 1989 following an investigation that concluded he bet on the Cincinnati Reds to win while managing the team.
"I would love to see Pete reinstated," Clark said.
Rose applied for reinstatement in September 1997 and met in November 2002 with Commissioner Bud Selig, who never ruled on the application. Selig was succeeded by Manfred in January. Now Rose is trying again to have the ban lifted.
"He made a decision, he made a decision that was not the right decision, he made a decision that he has paid a price for," Clark said.
Rose, who turns 74 next month, denied for 15 years that he bet on baseball. In his 2004 autobiography, "Pete Rose: My Prison Without Bars," he reversed his stand and acknowledged he bet on the Reds while managing the team.
Aside from offering his public support, it's not clear how much Clark can really do on Rose's behalf.
"We don't have any input necessarily on whether he's reinstated or not, but it is something that as a past member of the players' association we obviously pay attention to," Clark said.