A candidate, a baseball, and the word of Pete Rose

Only in the presidential campaign of 2016 would we we be analyzing the handwriting of Pete Rose to fact-check a candidate’s claim.

It started this week with this tweet from Donald Trump, claiming he has a baseball signed by Pete Rose, apparently endorsing the Republican in advance of the primary in a state where Rose is still revered.

But the lawyer for Rose says the former Cincinnati Red didn’t send Trump the ball.

“We do not know how Mr. Trump got the ball,” Ray Genco tells the 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.”

Which no doubt sent baseball fans scurrying to find Pete Rose’s autograph. Fortunately, Rose has signed and sold thousands of baseballs over the years.

Like this one:

The Trump baseball’s autograph is a dead ringer, including the all caps on the message.

“Though he respects everyone who works hard for our country — any outlet that misinterpreted a signed baseball for an endorsement was wrong,” Genco said.

“Pete did not send any candidate a baseball,” he said. He didn’t say he didn’t sign one for a candidate, though.