ESPN has uncovered evidence that indicates Pete Rose bet on baseball games when he was still a player, which could derail Rose’s faint hopes of getting his name in Major League Baseball’s Hall of Fame.
On Monday, ESPN’s Outside The Lines reported obtaining a notebook belonging to Michael Bertolini, a convicted fraudster who handled Rose’s wagering with mob-linked bookies. The notebook, which was seized during a 1989 raid by US federal authorities and has been under court-ordered seal ever since, indicates that Rose placed wagers on baseball games in 1986, his final year as a player.
Rose was hit with a lifetime ban from baseball in 1989 after his betting activity was revealed but has been waging a campaign for reinstatement ever since. Rose, who amassed 4,256 hits during his lengthy playing career, would be a shoe-in for the Hall of Fame were it not for the suspension.
In 2004, after years of denials, Rose admitted to betting on baseball but has long maintained that he only bet on baseball while serving as the Cincinnati Reds’ manager. Bertolini’s notebook indicates that Rose bet on multiple games per day for days at a stretch in 1986, including wagers on Reds games, but there’s no evidence that Rose ever bet on the Reds to lose.
Rose usually bet around $2k per game, although he once lost a $5,500 wager on the Boston Celtics. On a single day in March 1986, Rose lost $15,400 wagering on NBA and college basketball games. Rose reportedly owed his bookies hundreds of thousands of dollars when he was banished from baseball.
Rose’s lawyer issued a statement saying Rose would make no comment on the revelation based on his commitment to MLB that he “would not comment on specific matters relating to reinstatement.” Rose applied for reinstatement in March and was believed to have set up a meeting with MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred sometime after baseball’s All-Star break.
PAETSCH PLEADS GUILTY
Meanwhile, former National Hockey League player Nathan Paetsch has pled guilty to transmission of wagering information and structuring a bank transaction to evade reporting requirements. Paetsch was caught up in last year’s bust of an illegal sports betting operation being run out of a restaurant in Charlotte, New York that counted Paetsch’s former Buffalo Sabres teammate Thomas Vanek as a betting client.
Paetsch stood accused of recruiting bettors for the ring. Paetsch reached a deal with prosecutors to serve eight months of home detention, 400 hours of community service and pay a $265k fine. That’s a much better deal than the ring’s other principals received. Mark Ruff was sentenced in March to nine years in prison, while his brother Joseph got a 41-month sentence in April. Paul Borrelli reached a deal in April for eight months of house arrest and a $1.2m fine.