Cincinnati Reds: Pete Rose’s gambling activities exposed 31 years ago today

PITTSBURGH, PA - 1987: Manager Pete Rose of the Cincinnati Reds looks on from near the dugout during a game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Three Rivers Stadium in 1987 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by George Gojkovich/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - 1987: Manager Pete Rose of the Cincinnati Reds looks on from near the dugout during a game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Three Rivers Stadium in 1987 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by George Gojkovich/Getty Images) /
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On this date 31 years ago, Cincinnati Reds great Pete Rose’s gambling activities were exposed to the world. Let’s take a look at what happened.

When Cincinnati Reds legend Pete Rose retired from the game as a player in 1986, his path to the Hall of Fame was pretty much in the books. To this day, Rose holds the all-time hits record with 4256 H, a mark – Like Cal Ripken Jr.‘s consecutive games streak or Joe DiMaggio‘s consecutive games with the hit or even Barry Bonds‘ single-season and all-time HR record – we may never see broken.

Three years later, in 1989, while Rose prepared the Reds for Opening Day, Sports Illustrated dropped a bombshell report exposing Charlie Hustle’s gambling habits. In this report, MLB Commissioner Peter Ueberroth revealed that he had received information that Rose had bet on baseball games, which if found true would result in Rose’s suspension from the game.

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The story went on to describe Ron Peters, a restauranteur as Rose’s bookmaker. It also described Rose’s friend, Paul Janszen, using a phone at a Gold’s Gym in Cincinnati to place bets on Rose’s behalf.

While John Dowd investigated these claims against the Hit King, Rose continued managing the Cincinnati Reds during the 1989 season. Before voluntarily accepting a permanent place on baseball’s ineligible list, the Reds went 59-66.

In the end, The Dowd Report found that Rose did, in fact, bet on baseball games. The instances in which Dowd sources in his report show that it occurred while he was a manager.

At the same time, However, Dowd could not find any instances in which Rose bet against his own team. As a result, Pet Rose was banned from the game.

Throughout the years, Rose has applied for reinstatement, but commissioners Fey Vincent, Bud Selig, and Rob Manfred all rejected his applications.

For his part, Pete Rose initially complied with baseball’s recommendations to seek therapy. However, after experiencing rejection after rejection, Rose began hawking baseball memorabilia in the gambling capital of the world: Las Vegas.

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There’s no question that Charlie Hustle belongs in the Hall of Fame, especially when you consider his contributions to the game as a player. Unfortunately, baseball continues to thumb its nose a the Hit King, making it likely that Rose will never be honored in Cooperstown.