It seems that our neighbors to the north are perhaps inadvertently embarrassing the powers that be in MLB. You see, the Canadians have a Baseball Hall of Fame themselves and their 2003 class may include Pete Rose, who is ineligible in the States-you may have heard.
Either the Canucks stoked the Pete Rose for-the-Hall bonfires without meaning to do so or they are trying to capitalize on the much-debated topic's marketability to get some free publicity. Either way, it may be in poor taste to induct the man given the current set of circumstances. Then again, he may not get selected and the point may be moot.
ESPN quotes the Canadian Hall's president thusly:
"From the baseball standpoint I could see the selection committee members having some reservations," Canadian Hall of Fame president and CEO Tom Valcke told the London Free Press. "From the marketing side, (Rose's induction) would go a long way in our awareness campaign."
I checked out the Canadian Museum's site and it seems a low-key venture typical of Canada. They won't even be able to enjoy the benefits of the extra publicity. They are closed until May 3. Besides who could begrudge a museum that enshrines Tip O'Neill, Dave McKay, Terry Puhl, and George Selkirk?
It is their twentieth anniversary and, who knows, maybe they wanted some free publicity. Well, whatever their intentions they have their publicity. Now, let's see if they actually induct Rose. That'll be interesting.
Also of Interest, they seem to have their own Abner Doubleday (from their site):
St. Marys [the site of the museum] has close ties with the beginning of baseball in Canada. One of St. Marys' early settlers, Dr. Adam Ford, wrote an article that was published in a magazine called the "American Sporting Life" in 1886 that described a game played in the nearby community of Beachville that closely resembled baseball in its current form. Ford was also a physician in St. Marys, aswell [sic] as the Mayor of the town.
The claim is that the first game was played in 1838 in Canada. That's seven years before the Knickerbockers organized at Hoboken's Elysian fields. It's great that no matter where you are these historic museums have to start by building up the legends and tall tales for their topics. It's like Ken Burns without the Chubb Group.
Oh, one last thing regarding Rose's Canadian credentials. He did break the 4,000 hit mark in the Expos tri-colored cap, but Rose's Canadian career lasted only 95 games at the age of 43. He batted .259 and slugged .295 during his Montreal "career". His OPS was 18% below the adjusted league average. That doesn't seem like something to commemorate.