A. Bartlett Giamatti
The tough-minded Commissioner who expelled Pete Rose from baseball.
“The banishment for life of Pete Rose from baseball is a sad end of a sorry episode. One of the game’s greatest players has engaged in a variety of acts which have stained the game, and he must now live with the consequences of those acts. There is absolutely no deal for reinstatement.” -A. Bartlett Giamatti.
Giamatti, a lifelong Red Sox fan, came to prominence as the president of Yale University in 1978, where his tough dealing with the college’s union favorably impressed baseball’s owners; also appreciated was his devotion to baseball’s tradition.
When he was named president of the National League in December 1986, he happily reported that he had “just fallen in love and run away with a beautiful redhead with flashing eyes whose name is baseball.”
Giamatti gained attention for his 30-day suspension of Pete Rose in 1988 after Rose, the Reds’ manager, shoved umpire Dave Pallone. After succeeding Peter Ueberroth as Commissioner in April 1989, Giamatti’s most famous decision once again involved Pete Rose, whom he suspended for life for gambling.
Giamatti wrote many books and articles on Renaissance literature as well as a number of baseball essays during his teaching career at Princeton from 1964-66, and during his eight years as president at Yale.
Bartlett died on September 1, 1989, and was elected posthumously to the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame in 1992