3-Week Series: Double Blessing

Sermon Illustrations

Over a three-decade career in baseball, Pete Rose earned the nickname "Charlie Hustle" for his aggressive play and desire to win. He set dozens of records — including breaking Ty Cobb’s record for the most hits ever. That achievement, on Sept. 11, 1985, earned him a nine-minute ovation.

But in 1989, reports emerged that Rose, then the Reds’ manager, was gambling on baseball. After a six-month investigation by Major League Baseball, on Aug. 24 of that year, he agreed to leave baseball for life; but wouldn’t have to admit or deny that he bet on Major League Baseball. Part of the agreement allowed Rose to apply for reinstatement after a year. Rose says he regrets lying to baseball officials in 1989. "People have to understand I wish this would have never happened," he said. "But I can’t change it, it’s happened. And sitting here in my position, you’re just looking for a second chance." He hopes to be reinstated by Major League Baseball now that he has admitted his past mistakes and insists he no longer gambles illegally.

Statically Pete Rose was one of the best players in Baseball – he holds 12 Major League records. He is the only player in Major League history to play more than 500 games at five different Positions-1B (939) 2B (628) 3B (634) LF (671) RF (595).

He holds seven national league records including 7 twenty game or more hitting streaks.

And yet he is not in the Hall of Fame because of rule 21 (d) in the code of conduct for MLB.

All the games, all the records, all the praise and it is for naught. Why! Because he bet on baseball – not just baseball he also admitted he bet on his own team in 1987, 88 while he was the manager.

Today Pete Rose does not want another hit, another contract, another game – he simply wants reinstatement! To be brought back into MLB, there he may have an opportunity to be elected into the Hall of Fame and possibly manage the team he loves the Cincinnati Reds

He is guilty of committing a grievous error in baseball and that one error is keeping him from all that he desires today. Even if he is reinstated there is no guarantee he will be elected into the Hall of Fame. There still is a vote by the baseball writers and though popular opinion would like to see him in the Hall, He will still need a 75% vote from the baseball writers.

What Pete Rose needs is forgiveness. He needs to wipe the slate clean, to begin fresh.

That is the difference between the world and God. The world can offer reinstatement – putting you back in the circle to give you opportunity but only God can offer true forgiveness – the ability to wipe away our sins.