Mitch Stacy

COLUMBUS, Ohio: Pete Rose has appealed directly to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in an effort to restore his eligibility to be elected.

In a seven-page letter to the Hall’s president on Tuesday, Rose’s longtime attorney Raymond Genco makes the case that the career hits leader’s ban from baseball for gambling in 1989 was not intended to make him ineligible for the Hall of Fame.

The Hall of Fame changed its bylaws two years after Rose’s banishment to make banned players ineligible for the Hall. Rose argues that it wasn’t then-Commissioner Bart Giamatti’s intention to keep him out of the Hall when the two reached a settlement that banned him from baseball.

Genco said new commissioner Rob Manfred denying Rose’s reinstatement last December “opened the door” for the new argument.