Pete Rose Still Bets on Baseball, Says Likely No Hall of Fame While Alive
Posted on: November 16, 2020, 08:17h.
Last updated on: November 17, 2020, 08:58h.
Pete Rose, baseball’s all-time hit king who was exiled from the sport for more than 30 years by a betting scandal, admitted to Fox News’ Jim Gray that he still places wagers on the game.
In a taped interview that first appeared Monday on Fox Nation, a Fox News streaming service, Rose told the veteran reporter that he hadn’t bet on a game this year, prior to the interview. But he had in previous years.
When I was betting on baseball when I got suspended, I was betting illegally on baseball,” Rose said. “I make no more illegal bets in my life. That’s why they have casinos.”
Despite denying the allegations, Rose signed an agreement in 1989 that banned him after an MLB investigation found he placed bets on the Cincinnati Reds, the team he played for most of his career and managed for nearly five years. After that admission, the disgraced star would also serve a five-month federal sentence for tax evasion.
A decade later, Rose and Gray had a contentious interview at the 1999 All-Star Game. That’s when Rose made a rare appearance after being named to the sport’s All-Century Team. Gray tried to get Rose to confess to betting on the Reds, something Rose was unwilling to do at the time.
Five years after that interview, though, Rose would publish a book in which he admitted placing bets. While he had hoped it would get him reinstated in the game and open the door to enshrinement in the Hall of Fame, the move backfired, as his request was denied by Commissioner Bud Selig.
Rose, 79, seems resigned to his fate. In the interview with Gray, he admitted to screwing up.
“I would love to go to the Hall of Fame. Any player would,” Rose told Gray. “But as long as this heart is beating, I’m not going to go to the Hall of Fame.”
Rose Still Has His Supporters
Rose, a Cincinnati native who spent most of his career with the Reds, was known for his hard-charging style of play. While not much of a power hitter, he accumulated 4,256 hits over his career and has held the MLB record for 35 years. He also won three World Series titles and a Most Valuable Player award.
He still maintains a core group of fans that claim he should be allowed into the Hall of Fame or be reinstated. Those claims have grown louder, if not necessarily larger, as baseball further entrenches itself with gambling interests or other incidents, such as the Houston Astros cheating scandal, become public.
I was against reinstatement of Pete Rose for many years. But then MLB partnered with bookie firm and gambling sites. So I quickly did a 180 as hypocrisy doesn’t work for me. Bring him back to the gambling good graces of horrible Manfred baseball. Wishing you the best, Ross.
— Paul N. Young (@paulnathanyoung) April 14, 2020
Rose’s betting took place during the time he served as a player-manager and then as just the manager, as he retired from playing in the mid-to-late-1980s. While he said he only bet on his team to win, MLB rules do not discern a difference. Betting on a game in which your team plays merits a lifetime suspension.
Sports Betting May Become Legal in Rose’s Home State
Legalized sports betting could be coming to Rose’s native Ohio. A Senate committee will take up a bill later this week that would allow the state’s casinos and racinos to offer retail sportsbook and mobile apps.
When the Senate General Government and Agency Review Committee takes up SB111, it’ll be the first time in more than a year the bill has had a hearing. In May, the state House passed its version of a sports betting bill.
Time is running out, though. The House is in session through possibly Dec. 17, and the Senate may hold its last session as late as Dec. 22.