NEW YORK -- Pete Rose may finally be getting his second chance.
Baseball's career hits leader could know by the end of the year if baseball will agree to end his lifetime ban -- which could make him eligible for the Hall of Fame.
Nothing has been agreed to at this point -- including whether or not Rose will be reinstated or regain eligibility for Hall of Fame induction -- and while any potential agreement could still fall apart, it's conceivable a deal could be reached by sometime next month.
"It's a first hopeful sign,'' said Cincinnati Mayor Charlie Luken, who wrote twice to Selig last month urging reinstatement. Luken said he spoke to Bob DuPuy, Selig's top aide, on Nov. 27 and DuPuy said he would get back to him in about 30 days.
Negotiations are still ongoing on the terms of exactly what Rose will be asked by Selig to admit to before he is reinstated. In order to satisfy constituents who are opposed to Rose's reinstatement, Selig is said to be firm in his conviction that Rose has to admit, in some form, that he bet on baseball.
The meeting between Rose and Selig was the result of a process that had begun more than a year earlier, in the fall of 2001, when friends of Rose -- including several former Hall of Fame teammates -- first intervened on his behalf with Selig.
It came 13 years after Rose, then the manager of the Cincinnati Reds, agreed to a lifetime ban from the game following an investigation into his gambling. Rose's playing career ended on Aug. 17, 1986.