Ohio baseball legend Pete Rose did not endorse Donald Trump, he lawyer emphasised on Tuesday as GOP voters head to the polls in the former MLB player and team manager’s home state. Now all eyes are turning to Trump, who days ago took to Twitter to display a baseball that he “received from” Pete Rose with the Presidential candidate’s slogan saying “Mr. Trump, please Make America Great Again.” Trump, in kind, has supported Rose’s bid to be welcomed back into the world of baseball after the gambling scandal that made him persona non grata with MLB.

Some media outlets took Rose’s baseball note as an endorsement, while others concluded that it was a show of support; something short of an endorsement. Both are wrong, according to Rose’s lawyer Ray Genco.

“We do not know how Mr. Trump got the ball,” Genco said in a phone interview with the Washington Post. “I can’t authenticate the ball from some Twitter picture.” He added: “I can’t speak to how Trump got the ball. Pete didn’t send it. I made that clear.”

What the heck just happened? Either Rose sent the ball or he didn’t. Did Trump forge the ball, or that Rose is walking back his support? But there’s another possibility. Mr. Rose will reportedly sign anything put in front of him. It’s entirely possible that Trump’s campaign ordered on of Rose’s custom signed baseballs through his signature agency, and the Rose didn’t give it much thought. Trump’s campaign has declined to comment on the nature of the exchange.

However Trump obtained the Rose baseball, his campaign did it’s best to leverage the keepsake for votes.



That’s not to say that the Rose “endorsement” will have a huge effect on voters. But the incident further calls into question both mens’ credibility. Trump has already exaggerated so-called endorsements, e.g. Patriots QB Tom Brady . Rose’s denial of support might provoke a reaction from Trump, who had been advocating for the baseball legend on the campaign trail.

"We gotta let Pete Rose in the Hall of Fame," Trump reportedly told supporters in Ohio at a campaign stop . "I don't know what Major League Baseball is doing."

Rose might not make it into the Hall of Fame, but the incident is likely to build on his baseball-signing business. Maybe Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and Ted Cruz will buy an “endorsement” as well?