But the newly surfaced documents could spell an end to the 74-year-old legend’s Cooperstown aspirations.
Rose issued a statement to ESPN through his lawyer, Raymond Genco.
This closes the door,” said John Dowd, the former federal prosecutor
Pete Rose’s long insistence that he never gambled on baseball while playing the game may be unraveling, after ESPN unearthed documents it says shows he bet on the Cincinnati Reds while a player-manager in the last year of his illustrious career.
“Since we submitted the application earlier this year, we committed to MLB that we would not comment on specific matters relating to reinstatement,” the statement read. This closes the door,” said John Dowd, the former federal prosecutor who led MLB’s 1989 investigation.
The documents obtained by ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” are copies of pages from a notebook seized from the home of former Rose associate Michael Bertolini during a raid by the U.S. The actual notebook has remained under court-ordered seal for 26 years and is currently stored in the National Archives’ New York office.
Rose, the sport’s all-time leader with 4,256 hits, has been banned from the sport since 1989. “We tried to get them. To be sure, I’m eager to sit down with [MLB commissioner Rob] Manfred to address my entire history — the good and the bad — and my long personal journey since baseball. That meeting likely will come sometime after the All-Star break. Most of the bets were for about $2,000.
Dowd said his team had sought the records in order to prove Rose bet on the sport while a player.
. “I need to maintain that. Rose, who would certainly be in the Hall of Fame if not for his ban, has long lobbied to be allowed back into the sport. Postal Inspection Service in October 1989.
– John Dowd, MLB investigator
“We knew that [Bertolini] recorded the bets, and that he bet himself, but we never had his records,” Dowd told ESPN. For the next 15 years, he insisted he never gambled, then in 2004 admitted he had but only as a manager. He refused to give them to us.”
Major League Baseball has historically reserved its harshest punishment for players who gamble on the sport, claiming such wagers affect baseball’s integrity – even if a player such as Rose bet on his own team to win.
“This does it. The sports network said the papers’ authenticity has been verified by two people who took part in the raid, which was part of an unrelated mail fraud probe. Therefore at this point, it’s not appropriate to comment on any specifics.”
In the five months covered by the notebook, Rose allegedly placed at least one bet on baseball 30 times, as well as placing wagers on other sports, ESPN reported