Pete Rose, at one point in our lives we have all heard that name whether it is tied to something good or bad that name is a staple in the sport of baseball. Now, we all like to turn into a Pete Rose from time to time: during the World Series, the Super Bowl, the World Cup, the Stanley Cup…..All the cups. But no matter which way you slice it betting always manages to get you into trouble.
Peter Edward Rose was born on April 14, 1941 in Cincinnati, Ohio to Harry Frances & LaVerne Rose. While attending Western Hills High school Rose played both baseball & football. He was actually the starting running back on the team. In 1960 with help from his Uncle Cincinnati Reds scout Buddy Bloebaum, Rose signed a contract with the Reds fresh out of high school.
In 1963 Yankees player Whitey Ford gave Rose the nickname ‘Charlie Hustle’ after he sprinted to first base despite being walked during a spring training game (against said Yankees). On April 8th of that same year Pete Rose made his major league debut after teammate and second baseman Don Blasingame pulled his groin during a spring training game forcing him to sit out for a while.
In his debut against the Pittsburgh Pirates Rose drew a walk his first time up to bat. He would finally get his first major league hit on April 13, 1963 (Aw, my mom was just an adorable little 2 year old at the time…but as usual I digress). In 1964 he would enlist in the US Army Reserves where he had to go through 6 months of active duty at For Knox. In 1965 Rose would make a comeback and lead the league with the most hits (209) and most times at bat (670).
In 1968 Rose started off the season with a bang earning himself a twenty two game hitting streak before missing three weeks due to a broken thumb. Once he returned from his injury he had another nineteen game hitting streak. In 1969 he set a career high in batting and tied his career best 16 home runs. Okay, I am going to skip ahead a few years or we will be here all day. On June 14, 1978 Rose started a hitting streak that would last 44 games. To make a long mother f****ing story short dude was one hell of a baseball player. On November 11, 1986 Pete Rose was dropped by the Reds and went into unofficial retirement.
After his retirement Rose remained with the Reds franchise as team manager until April 3, 1989. It was during this time that all the doo-doo hit the fan. On April 30, 1988 Rose earned himself a thirty game suspension after pushing an umpire during a heated argument regarding a call he made.
In February 1989 Pete Rose was questioned by MLB commissioner Peter Ueberroth after allegations that Rose had been betting on the Reds while managing them came to light (Did I just pick a real bad time in baseball to be born first Jose Conseco & now this!?). Sports Illustrated released an article regarding Rose & the sports betting on March 21, 1989, That would be the first time this issue had been discussed with the public. Bart Giamatti became the new commissioner of baseball on April 1st of that year and three days later he had lawyer John M. Dowd open an official investigation on Pete Rose.
Dowd documented Rose’s gambling activities in 1985 & 1986 as well as a day by day record of Rose’s gambling in 1987 with the help of Rose’s alleged bookies & bet runners. During his investigation Dowd figured out that Rose had bet on 52 Reds games in 1987 alone. Each bet being as low as $2,000 and as high as $10,000. Petey of course denied all accusations.
On August 24, 1989 Pete Rose VOLUNTARILY accepted a spot on the MLB’s ineligible list (which more or less is a ban from the sport). In return the major leagues decided they would not push further with any more formal investigations relating to the gambling. On September 1, 1989 Bart Giamatti passed away after suffering a heart attack. Even though Dowd’s report officially states; “no evidence was discovered that Rose bet against the Reds,”in 2002 he would speak out and tell the public that Rose most likely did bet on the Reds while being active manager. So that’s that no more controversy for Petey, SIKE!
On April 20, 1990 Mr. Rose would plead guilty to two counts of tax fraud after filing false returns not declaring money he made off of selling memorabilia, autographs, & winnings from horse races. On July 19 that same year Rose was sentenced to five months in prison & fined $50,000. He was released from prison on January 7, 1991 after paying $366,041 in back taxes. Rose would go on to apply for reinstatement in 1992 & 2015, both times he would be rejected. On February 4. 1991 the MLB passed a rule that players on the permanently ineligible list would never be allowed to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, no matter how amazing their career had been. Although ineligible for the baseball Hall of Fame Rose was inducted into the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame in 2016.
In his autobiography published on January 8, 2004 Rose would admit that he did in fact bet on the Reds, other baseball teams, & was involved in other sports betting while managing the team. It’s okay though guys, even thought he admitted to betting on Reds games he said he NEVER placed a bet AGAINST the Reds. Well, why didn’t you say something earlier Pete!? Could have saved me a whole article. In March 2007 Rose would appear on the Dan Patrick show where he tried to defend his actions by saying; “I bet on my team every night. I didn’t bet on my team four nights a week. I bet on my team to win every night because I loved my team, I believed in my team.” “I did everything in my power every night to win that game.” Ah yes, lets just place a bandage over a gaping wound and act like everything is okay now, shall we? His honesty did not win over the affections of fans if that if what he was hoping for. In fact, they were even more upset that he denied these accusations for fifteen years before bothering to come clean.
On May 11, 2015 Rose made his debut as a color analysts for Fox Sports & Fox Sports 1. What did we learn here today kids? That’s right, if you agree with what other people say and ban yourself from situations than all your wrong doing will be brushed under the rug! I’m kidding, remember sports betting is bad……although now it is legal in most states…….
Awesome as always.
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I remember Pete Rose as a player and a manager. He was a great baseball player. He wasn’t a bad manager either. Unfortunately his gambling problems got him in trouble and eventually out of hall of fame.
Very informative article.
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