Report: Newly uncovered records suggest Pete Rose bet on baseball as a player in 1986

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As former major leaguer Pete Rose awaits possible reinstatement from commissioner Rob Manfred, new evidence involving his links to gambling has emerged that could be damning to the all-time hits leader.

According to documents obtained by ESPN's Outside the Lines, Rose bet extensively on baseball during his playing days, something he's adamantly denied.

ESPN notes that the documents are copies of pages from a notebook seized from a raid in 1989 of Rose’s former associate Michael Bertolini that has been under a court-ordered seal for 26 years.

"We knew that (Bertolini) recorded the bets, and that he bet himself, but we never had his records. We tried to get them. He refused to give them to us," former federal prosecutor John Dowd told ESPN.

"This is the final piece of the puzzle on a New York betting operation with organized crime. And, of course, (Rose) betting while he was a player."

Rose, who declined to comment, was placed on baseball's ineligible list in August of 1989 for gambling on games during his tenure as the Cincinnati Reds manager.

The documents obtained did not reveal any evidence that Rose bet against his team while acting as a player-manager in 1986, though Outside the Lines did find numerous indiscretions.

  • From March to June of 1986, Rose bet on at least one MLB team on 30 different days.
  • He gambled on the Reds in games in which he was playing.
  • Most bets were about $2,000, with the largest single bet coming on the Boston Celtics in which he lost $5,500.

Rose applied for reinstatement from the league in March and Manfred appeared to have an open mind.

''I want to make sure I understand all of the details in the Dowd Report and Commissioner Bart Giamatti's decision,'' Manfred said in March. ''I want to hear what Pete has to say, and I'll make a decision.''

Rose recorded 4,256 hits, 160 home runs, 1,314 RBIs, and 198 stolen bases while hitting a career .303/.375/.409 in 3,562 games spanning 24 seasons in the majors.

"I've done my time, I've paid the price,'' Rose said in February. "Isn't it time to forgive? Isn't this country about getting second chances?"

The commissioners office failed to comment.