Cincinnati Reds great Pete Rose believes his lifetime ban from baseball will someday be lifted, per multiple reports.
Should that happen, Rose told ESPN's Darren Rovell on June 16 he will be "the happiest guy in the world":
"On the day that Pete Rose made his return to managing in a one-day stint with the independent Bridgeport Bluefish, 25 years after he last managed the Cincinnati Reds, MLB's career hits leader said he remains optimistic that his lifetime ban for betting on baseball will one day be lifted.
"'I've waited 25 years, but I've done so because I was the one who screwed up,' Rose told ESPN.com. 'And if I were given a second chance, I would be the happiest guy in the world.'
"On Jan. 24, 2015, MLB commissioner Bud Selig, who has not ruled on lifting Rose's ban since he applied for reinstatement in 1997, is retiring. Rose was banned from the game in August 1989.
"'I haven't given up on Bud,' Rose said. 'I'm not glad he's leaving. He has a love for the game and has been good for it. If the next guy is his best friend, I don't expect he'll just turn me loose, but if he isn't, I hope he has an open mind.'
"Rose spends 20 days a month, for four-and-a-half hours a day, sitting inside a Las Vegas store called the Art of Music on the strip signing autographs. Items cost between $80 and $800, Rose said, which includes some quality talking time with the slugger.
"'I know there's a lot of people who want to give me a second chance because they wouldn't be stopping and paying for my autograph if the didn't think so,' Rose said.
"Rose, who resides in Las Vegas, says he still bets, though he says he hasn't bet on baseball in a 'very long time.'
"'I only bet on events that I am watching,' Rose said. 'I watch the horses. I was a big fan of (Triple Crown hopeful) California Chrome.'
"Despite being banihsed from the game, Rose has managed to make money by signing autographs and doing endorsement deals, including a recent shoe deal with Skechers and a deal with a fantasy league called SportsBeep."
Rose was also optimistic about his reinstatement in a conversation with USA Today's Bob Nightengale:
"In truth, Major League Baseball told Bridgeport officials they have no jurisdiction since it's an independent league club. The Bluefish can let Rose hit, play second base, or serve as a human pinata if so inclined.
"Rose may be delusional but believes a decision may be coming his way soon.
"Selig, on his way out the door, could act like an outgoing president and issue an official pardon to Rose, finally ending his lifetime ban.
"'Buddies tell me that I've got a good chance to be on the ballot when Bud leaves office,' Rose says. 'But hey, what if the next commissioner is Bud's best friend? What if my best chance is for Bud to reinstate me himself?'
"'I really believe there's a chance.'
"'Hey, when I met with Bud,' Rose said, 'I would have bet everything I own that he was going to reinstate me when I left his office.'
"The year was 2003.
"Rose is still waiting.
"'The guy who shot the Pope,' Rose says, 'he got a second chance. That's all I'm asking for, a second chance. I'll make the most of it.
"'I'm not whining. I was the one who screwed up. I made some mistakes. But come on, it's been a quarter of a century.'"
Rose played in the majors from 1963-86 for the Cincinnati Reds, Philadelphia Phillies and the Montreal Expos. He amassed 4,256 hits, 160 home runs and 1,314 RBIs on a .303 batting average, per Baseball-Reference.com.