This Day in Baseball: Rose Under Fire

On this day in 1989, Pete Rose met with Commissioner Peter Uberroth and Commissioner-elect Bart Giamatti to discuss the allegations that Rose – manager of the Cincinnati Reds at the time – had been betting on baseball.  Rose denied all accusations of gambling, but the league launched a full scale investigation in the following months.  Throughout the entire investigation, Rose continued to publicly deny the league’s accusations, even in the face of mounting evidence.

The league had commissioned lawyer John M. Dowd to issue a report outlining Rose’s daily gambling habits.  The results of the report were damning.  Dowd’s report outlined upwards of $10,000 of daily betting by Rose on baseball, including 57 Reds games in 1987.

Rose ultimately accepted a lifetime place on baseball’s ineligible list.  Rose and Commissioner Giamatti worked out an agreement in which Rose would admit that there was a factual reason for his ban.  In return, the league would not make public the results of its investigation.  Rose was able to escape with some of his reputation intact, but he would never again manage the Reds or be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Rose would come clean regarding his involvement in betting on baseball, including games involving his own team, in 2004.  He vehemently denied betting against his own team.  Efforts to reinstate baseball’s all-time hit king come and go every year, but Rose remains barred from the game.

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