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Pete Rose on Trump: A Signed Baseball Is Not An Endorsement

On Monday, an attorney for Pete Rose said that the former baseball player did not endorse GOP presidential contender Donald Trump.
Image: Pete Rose
Former player and manager Pete Rose looks on prior to the 86th MLB All-Star Game at the Great American Ball Park on July 14, 2015 in Cincinnati, Ohio. Elsa / Getty Images, file

Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump on Sunday tweeted what appeared to be an endorsement from Pete Rose, the once legendary — now blacklisted — professional baseball player and manager.

"Mr. Trump," began a note that was scrawled on a baseball and posted to Trump’s Twitter account. "Please make America great again" — an apparently reference to Trump's infamous slogan.

The ball seemed to be signed by Rose — but on Monday lawyer Ray Genco disputed that his client had offered any endorsement.

"Pete has made a point not to 'endorse' any particular presidential candidate,” Genco said in a statement to NBC News. "Though he respects everyone who works hard for our country — any outlet that misinterpreted a signed baseball for an endorsement was wrong. Pete did not send any candidate a baseball or a note of endorsement."

Genco added that through his "discussions with Pete about this cycle, I've learned that he believes that who to vote for is a decision each voter should decide for him or herself."

When asked about the meaning of the gift a Trump spokeswoman said the campaign had not called it an endorsement. Earlier Sunday, Trump announced that Rose should be allowed in Major League Baseball's Hall of Fame.

Former player and manager Pete Rose looks on prior to the 86th MLB All-Star Game at the Great American Ball Park on July 14, 2015 in Cincinnati, Ohio. Elsa / Getty Images, file