OTR Interviews

Pete Rose: 'I'll never give up' on trying to get into the Hall of Fame

Disgraced Major League Baseball hit king sounds off on Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Sammy Sosa being denied entry into HOF and whether he deserves enshrinement


This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," January 9, 2013. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Well, it hasn't happened since 1960, at least not until today. This year, no baseball players were elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame, zero! Home run titans Barry Bonds and Sammy Sosa and pitcher Roger Clemens among those rejected, the shutout reopening the wounds of major league baseball's steroid scandal.

Joining us is baseball great Pete Rose, who was also shut out from the Hall of fame. With him is his fiancee, Kiana Kim. They have an announcement to make. We're going to get to that. But first I want to talk baseball with Pete.

Pete, your thoughts today? A complete shutout, nobody's going into the Hall of Fame this year.

PETE ROSE, MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL GREAT: Yes, it's kind of sad, Greta, because there's a lot of great players that were on the ballot. And Craig Biggio, the first player on the first ballot since 1945 with 3,000 hits not to make the Hall of Fame. Of course, I believe that Mike Piazza is probably the greatest offensive catcher in the history of baseball, only got over 50 percent. Johnny Bench is the best catcher in the history of baseball, but Piazza has all the record for catchers as far as offensively.

So as far as the guys linked to steroids, I didn't have a vote. You know, I don't know how they came up with the percentages that they came up with. I remember the first time Mark McGwire was on the ballot, he got 24 percent, and I was wondering today to see if Bonds and Clemens and those guys would get in the 50's, because if they got into the 50's that means in a couple of years probably make it to the Hall of Fame. But they're in the 30's, and next year as you know, or you may not know, you've got Maddux and you've got Frank Thomas and you've got Jeff Kent, Glavine, a lot of good nominees for next year.

But it's sad because we have a lot of friends in Cooperstown who owns stores and they kind of thrive on that week, Hall of Fame week to survive for the year, and I don't know what kind of induction weekend it's going to be now because there's he no induction.

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, Jack Morris and Tim Raines are the only ones that hit the 52 percent, nobody else did. There isn't much that hit the 52 percent. You say it's kind of sad. You should have seen my twitter account today and GretaWire.com my blog with the mention of Pete Rose. A lot of people are very upset that Pete Rose is not in the Hall of Fame, and I can't tell you how my account lit up today. What is your thought? Are you ever going to the get in the Hall of Fame?

ROSE: Well, I'm on the ineligible list. I've never been on list to receive any votes. And I must tell you that I'm not in the Hall of Fame because I'm the one that made the mistake and screwed up, and I can't sit here on your show or Sean's show or Bill's show and complain about anybody because I'm the one that messed up.

And in my situation, we just live everyday life and have fun and try to get a second chance sometime. I won't need a third. If I ever get a second chance, we'll see what happens as far as the Hall of Fame is concerned.

VAN SUSTEREN: I wonder, though, if it's all about you and how much of it really is about the fans? Because I was at that World Series game in 1999 where they had the greatest players of the 20th century and were you one of them. They brought the players out, and the fans went absolutely crazy when Pete Rose's name came up, the biggest standing ovation of anybody. And the fans really want to see you in the Hall of Fame. At least, I mean, very few who don't. So, I mean, I'm wondering, if this isn't a little for the fans, too, if the fans aren't being cheated. What do you think about that?

ROSE: Well, I get good fan support, Greta, no question about that, and I think the fans understand that now I understand I made a mistake and they're willing to give me a second chance. And my teammates realize that I know I made a mistake and they're on my side. But it's one guy's decision, commissioner of baseball Bud Selig. And I probably made his job tougher over the years, I probably did, because there's been a problem with baseball the last 15, 20 years. But he's the guy in charge, and he can call me right now and reinstate me tomorrow if that's the way he felt.

But we're still trying to contact him. And who knows? Who knows down the road? You never give up. I never gave up as a player and I won't give up as someone who wants to go to the Hall of Fame, because it's the ultimate goal for a baseball player or a football player or a basketball player.

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, I wish he'd make you eligible so you could be considered. Let me announce you have another project. Kiana, let me ask you, what's the project you and Pete Rose have?

KIANA KIM, FIANCEE OF PETE ROSE: We did a reality show with TLC, it's called "Pete Rose: Hits and Mrs."

VAN SUSTEREN: And when did this start?

KIM: It starts Monday on January 14th at 10 p.m.

ROSE: It's a lot of fun, Greta.

VAN SUSTEREN: Tell me about it.

ROSE: Yes, we enjoyed doing it, because people say, why did you do it? Well, I think I can only answer for me, she can answer for herself. In my case, I just wanted to show a different Pete Rose than what people think Pete Rose is. When people think of me, they think about me knocking catchers down and knocking second baseman down and yelling at pitchers. But when I took the spikes off after the game I was a nice guy when I went home. If I went zero for four I didn't go out and beat up the guard in the car lot or beat up my wife when I went home. You know, I just knew I was going to come back the next day, and she had her reasons why she wanted to.

KIM: Well, I wanted to do it for several reasons.


KIM: But mainly because you know, dating Pete Rose is a tough job. He's, you know, just legendary, he's so famous, and I wanted to have my own identity and to really let people into our lives and our relationship.

ROSE: It was fun, a lot of fun.

VAN SUSTEREN: Pete, as I close can I get the promise out of you I get the first interview after you make the Hall of Fame?


ROSE: Yes. You remember many years ago when we did an event in West Palm Beach?

VAN SUSTEREN: I do remember that.

ROSE: I mean, you -- I have to congratulate you, man, you've come a long way and you're great and do a great job. You do, I mean, you do a great job. I watch you every night. I watch you every night.

KIM: He does.

ROSE: And you tell it the way it is and you cut through everything. I mean, you travel more than anybody on TV, I think.

VAN SUSTEREN: Pete, thank you.

ROSE: I'll give you that interview. I'll give you that interview if I make the Hall of Fame.

VAN SUSTEREN: If it happens. All right, thank you, good luck to both of you, thank you both.

KIM: Thank you.

ROSE: OK, all right, Greta, have a great night.