By Agence France-Presse

US President Donald Trump has tweeted that disgraced former Major League Baseball star Pete Rose should be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

US President Donald Trump has backed former Major League Baseball player Pete Rose in his bid to gain eligibility for election to baseball the Hall of Fame, despite being banned for betting on the game. (AFP Photo / Christopher Pasatieri)

Pete Rose (AFP Photo / Christopher Pasatieri)

Rose, who is MLB’s all-time hits leader, was permanently banned from American baseball in 1989 for gambling on games as a manager for the Cincinnati Reds.

“Pete Rose played Major League Baseball for 24 seasons, from 1963-1986, and had more hits, 4,256, than any other player (by a wide margin). He gambled, but only on his own team winning, and paid a decades long price. GET PETE ROSE INTO THE BASEBALL HALL OF FAME. It’s Time!” Trump tweeted Saturday.

Last week Rose petitioned Commissioner Rob Manfred to make him eligible for the Hall of Fame, citing the new cheating scandal that has engulfed the Houston Astros.

Rose argued his ban should be lifted because Manfred decided not to punish other players accused of violating rules.

“There cannot be one set of rules for Mr. Rose and another for everyone else,” the petition reads. “No objective standard or categorization of the rules violations committed by Mr. Rose can distinguish his violations from those that have incurred substantially less severe penalties from Major League Baseball.”

Ex-commissioner A. Bartlett Giamatti banned Rose after an investigation showed that Rose had illegally bet with bookmakers on MLB games, including on the Reds.

Rose signed an agreement in 1989 accepting an indefinite suspension from baseball, though he did not admit to violating MLB’s Rule 21, which prohibits players from betting on games.

Rose denied for 15 years that he had bet on baseball. But in 2004, Rose admitted in a book, “My Prison Without Bars,” that in the 1980s he had wagered on the game.

Source: Manila Bulletin