What say you?
CINCINNATI (AP) -- Pete Rose said his fans would likely be "elated" if baseball reinstated him.
"Everything should be for the fans," Rose said Tuesday before a preview party celebrating Saturday's opening of a special exhibit in his honor at the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame. "If they retired my number here, don't you think the fans would be elated?
"They could send a hit man after me, and I would still be out there trying to sell baseball. My name's synonymous with baseball."
Several Rose-related artifacts have been on display at the Reds Hall of Fame since it debuted in 2004, a year after Great American Ball Park opened. The new exhibit includes more than 300 items from the career of Rose, who finished playing in 1986 with a career-high 4,256 hits. His total is reflected at the Reds' Hall in a three-story high wall of baseballs -- one for each hit.
"I'm just happy having three stories of balls. That's a lot of balls," said Rose, who spent almost three more seasons as Cincinnati's manager before he agreed to a lifetime ban in 1989 after an investigation if his gambling. In a 2004 autobiography, Rose admitted he had gambled on baseball.
Displayed at the news conference were the bat Rose used and the ball when he got hit 4,192 to pass Ty Cobb.
"You want to check and make sure there's no cork in that bat?" Rose joked.
Because of the ban, Rose is not eligible for induction into the Reds' or Baseball's Hall of Fame. He also is not allowed to be involved in most on-field activities, which has prevented the Reds from retiring his uniform No. 14.
Major League Baseball did include him in two events -- 1999's All-Century Team and 2002's 30 Memorable Moments -- that were sponsored by a credit card company. He couldn't say whether he thought the current exhibit represented a softening of baseball's stance regarding his ban.
"I want to thank baseball for giving the permission to do this," he said about the exhibit. "They wouldn't let me be on the field for the last game here (at Cinergy Field, the Reds' previous home). They wouldn't let me go to the last game in Philadelphia (at Veteran's Stadium) either."