Previously at Awful Announcing, we have established that Pete Rose will write anything you ask him to on an autographed baseball, provided you pay whatever the going rate is for his signature on a ball. (In 2014, according to FiveThirtyEight, Rose charged $99 to autograph a baseball.)
That’s why it was a stretch for presidential candidate Donald Trump to claim that Rose had endorsed him while campaigning in Ohio before that state’s presidential primary. Sure, maybe an associate of Trump’s had asked Rose to write “Please make America great again” on an autographed ball, but Rose didn’t send that message to Trump purely out of interest or support. And for what it’s worth, Rose’s attorney said he had no idea how Trump got that ball and even questioned its authenticity.
But again, if you ask Rose to write it and you paid for an autograph, he will pen your chosen message to that baseball. A Reddit user with the handle MrCrix posted an example for all to see in a recent thread. MrCrix apparently wanted Rose to take responsibility for the 1963 assassination of president John F. Kennedy, and baseball’s all-time hits leader obliged.
Though MrCrix has an autographed claim all to himself which he can display on his shelf of choice, it’s not the first time Rose has apologized for shooting JFK. Several Twitter users have posted examples in the past of Rose penning the same message.
I hate to disappoint people, but Pete Rose will put anything on a ball for $75 pic.twitter.com/5hLZHtfE0l
— John Fischesser (@JohnFischesser) March 14, 2016
— Phil Braun (@playazball) March 14, 2016
Give the people what they want, right? That’s not a bad motto to live by, especially for someone who needs to make a living from such autographed memorabilia as Rose does. After looking at these photos, I’m beginning to think it might be worth a hundred bucks to get the Cincinnati Reds legend to write “I enjoy Burger King hot dogs” or “I liked Batman v Superman” on a baseball. Maybe it would be better to aim higher. How about “I paid for this haircut”? Should we pool our money together and come to an agreement on what the funniest Pete Rose autograph would be? Hmm…
In the meantime, there’s no evidence to suggest that Rose didn’t shoot JFK, right? Maybe MLB commissioner Rob Manfred wanted some answers to this question and when he didn’t get them, that’s when he ultimately decided not to end Rose’s lifetime ban from baseball.