COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. -- Newly inducted Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan has always been known as a straight shooter, and he didn't dodge the sticky issue when he was faced yesterday with the question of whether baseball exile Pete Rose should be enshrined.
"Pete should be in the Hall of Fame," Ryan said bluntly.
Rose, even in exile, has become a part of the Cooperstown landscape each summer. He was in town all weekend signing autographs outside a private museum dedicated to him just down the street from the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.
Baseball's all-time hits leader has been banned from baseball since 1989, when late commissioner Bart Giamatti determined that he gambled on baseball. That ban applies to his eligibility for the Hall.