Pete Rose Returns To Major League Baseball 24 Years After Being Banned For Gambling — Well, Sort Of

Pete Rose has returned to the world of baseball… well, sort of.

More than 24 years after the switch-hitter agreed to permanent ineligibility, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred is contemplating whether Pete Rose can be reinstated to the sport.

As he awaits Manfred’s decision, Pete Rose, who at one time held the record for most hits, has taken a gig with Fox Sports as an analyst and commentator.

Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports announced the news of Pete Rose’s return to baseball Thursday, according to Yahoo! Sports.

Pete Rose’s re-entry into the world of baseball will be a busy one. He is slated to serve as a guest analyst on Fox’s pregame shows this season and also will make appearances on MLB Whiparound, America’s Pregame and Fox Sports Live on Fox Sports 1.

According to the Associated Press, Fox was not required to seek MLB’s permission to speak to Pete Rose or hire him as a network analyst. However, they informed the league of their intentions, said Dan Bell of Fox Sports.

“We informed baseball of Pete’s audition. Baseball was informed every step of the way.”

As for Pete Rose — or “Charlie Hustle” as he was affectionately known in the day — it must be exciting to take to the air to comment on the sport he so loves.

“I enjoy talking baseball, and that’s what this is all about. Enjoying the game of baseball, sitting in the green room watching two or three games, getting on TV and talking about it. It’s right up my alley, I think.”

Some have speculated that Pete Rose’s late entry into the broadcasting arena was to help champion his request to be reinstated in the league. At 74, the former Cincinnati Reds first baseman said he has no plans on using the opportunity to further his cause.

“I don’t even worry about that. I’ve never thought about that. I’m just trying to give back to baseball. Hopefully people will watch and I’ll make some good points that will help them understand the game more. I’m not concentrating or worrying about reinstatement. I’m worried about working, having fun. This will be fun for me. It won’t be like work. That’s the way I look at it.”

Despite the controversy associated with his ban from the game in 1991 and his ineligibility to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, Pete Rose has a legion of fans who know just how brilliantly he played the game in the 1970s.

Pete Rose’s hitting helped lead the “Big Red Machine,” widely recognized as being among the best teams in baseball history, to countless wins between 1970 and 1976, including five National League West Division titles, four National League pennants, and two World Series.

[Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images]