Pete Rose is making a last-ditch effort in hopes of getting his Baseball Hall of Fame ban lifted ... sending an incredibly emotional letter to MLB commissioner Rob Manfred this week to plead his case.
Charlie Hustle has been public enemy #1 in Cooperstown ever since his infamous betting scandal came to light ... and hasn't been able to even sniff the voter's ballot as a result.
But, now that he's 81 years old, Rose is pulling out all the stops in hopes of someday knowing what it feels like to be called a "Hall of Famer."
TMZ Sports has obtained a copy of the Hit King's message (which was sent to MLB offices on Monday) ... and it's powerful stuff.
"I am writing today for three reasons," Rose said in the letter. "First, because at my age I want to be 100% sure that you understand how much I mean it when I say that I'm sorry. Second, to ask for your forgiveness. And third, because I still think every day about what it would mean to be considered for the Hall of Fame."
Rose acknowledges the hurt he caused the people he loves and respects, as well as Cincinnati Reds fans ... saying it's one of his biggest regrets.
"Besides spending time with my kids and my partner, there's nothing that made me happier than playing baseball in front of fans. That I let them down and brought shame to the sport we all love is something I think about every single day."
Of course, if it weren't for the betting scandal, Rose would be a shoo-in for the Hall -- he has the most hits in MLB history and has three World Series wins, three MVPs and 17 All-Star selections.
In his letter, Rose even apologized to the athletes he played alongside during his incredible career ... admitting it hurts to watch them grow old without having to deal with any sort of controversy.
"You can't imagine how painful it is when I see my teammates from all the great teams I played on and players I played against go about their lives in ways I wanted to. I want to be a part of that too and I know I probably never will. I am so grateful for the time I shared with them on and off the field. Nothing replaces it."
"I am asking for your forgiveness," Rose concluded. "Despite my many mistakes, I am so proud of what I accomplished as a baseball player -- I Am the Hit King and it is my dream to be considered for the Hall of Fame. Like all of us, I believe in accountability. I am 81 years old and know that I have been held accountable and that I hold myself accountable. I write now to ask for another chance."
We're told Rose has not heard back from commish or the league yet.
We reached out to Pete’s agent Ryan Fiterman of Fiterman Sports in Houston and they have no comment at this time.