This past Sunday, Christís Church of the Valley turned to former baseball player Pete Rose to discuss second chances.
Rose is an expert on the subject, as he is famous for being one of the best players of all time before having his title stripped after a gambling scandal. Rose had been accused for betting on games while acting as the manager of the Cincinnati Reds. The church invited him to share his story; tell his tales of the games, the fame and explain why he should be let back into the ballpark.
Rose was clear: this was not part of a rehabilitation tour. It was a special appearance, at the invitation of the church, in the year that marks the 25th anniversary of Roseís banishment and the 10th anniversary of his admission of guilt.
The stormy weather didnít impact the audience. ďPete Rose Shuttle BusesĒ were carrying people by the dozens to the churchís doors. Pete Roseís appearance drew crowds of over 1,000 people in just the first service, over 500 in the second service and around 250 in the third.
The crowd was extremely diverse: filled with children wanting to get their baseballs signed, fans of all ages and the regular church goers. But they all heard the same message about second chances.
Rose was outright about the gambling, saying simply ďI was wrong.Ē He also commented on players suspected of drug use, alcoholism and domestic violence still playing in the game.
Rose added that he believes that he was not the only one betting on games, yet he is permanently ineligible. He advised that if anyone has a problem or has done wrong, they should speak up and admit it, because it wonít stay secret.
ďI canít complain about my situation,Ē Rose said, ďbecause Iím the one that screwed up. If somebody is gracious enough to give me a second chance, I wonít need a third.Ē