Monday, May 2, 2011
This date in history: Pete Rose suspended
By David Schoenfield
On May 2, 1988, Pete Rose was suspended 30 days after shoving umpire Dave Pallone.
Before he received a much harsher penalty in 1989, Pete Rose was suspended on this day in 1988 for shoving umpire Dave Pallone during an argument three days prior. The suspension was controversial enough -- the longest in baseball history at the time since Leo Durocher had been suspended for the entire 1947 season for associating with gamblers -- that Sports Illustrated put Rose on its cover.
The incident occurred in the top of the ninth on April 30, in a game against the New York Mets. Pallone hesitated in making a call at first base, eventually ruling that first baseman Nick Esasky had pulled his foot from the bag, which allowed Howard Johnson to score what proved to be the deciding run in a 6-5 Mets victory. During the argument, Pallone accidentally hit Rose in the cheek with his finger and Rose responded with a forearm shiver. Reds fans responded by littering the field with garbage, causing a 14-minute delay.
In the Sports Illustrated article, third baseman Buddy Bell had a rather ominous quote: "It would be one thing if Pete was a constant problem. But this is his 28th year in baseball, and they're treating him like a convict."