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Saturday, March 21, 2020

Today in Baseball History: The beginning of the end for Pete Rose

In the spring of 1989, Major League Baseball Commissioner Peter Ueberroth was a lame duck. His successor, National League President A. Bartlett Giamatti, was unanimously elected to succeed him the previous September and was poised to take office on April 1. Most lame ducks like Ueberroth do very little of note, but just before stepping out of the spotlight, Ueberroth dropped a bomb: On March 20, 1989 he announced that his office was conducting a “full inquiry into serious allegations” about Cincinnati Reds manager and all-time baseball hit king, Pete Rose.

The announcement — which provided no other details — took the public by surprise, but as is the case with almost anything baseball does, Ueberroth was reacting to bad press. In this case it was a detailed investigative report from Sports Illustrated about Rose’s associations with convicted felons, his alleged huge betting losses and his questionable handling of money he received from memorabilia sales and autograph signings. A few days later Sports Illustrated reported that Ueberroth had received information that Rose may have bet on baseball games. Including Reds games.

Ueberroth hired the attorney John Dowd as special counsel to investigate. Dowd’s report was submitted to Giamatti in May and was made public on June 27. It was voluminous, including eight volumes of exhibits, which included bank and telephone records, betting records, expert reports, and transcripts of interviews with Rose and other witnesses. It was also damning. It’s principal findings, from the introductory summary of the Dowd Report:

“As detailed more extensively herein, Pete Rose has denied under oath ever betting on Major League Baseball or associating with anyone who bet on Major League Baseball. However, the investigation has developed information to the contrary. the testimony and the documentary evidence gathered in the course of the investigation demonstrated that Pete Rose bet on baseball, and in particular, on games of the Cincinnati Reds Baseball Club during the 1985, 1986, and 1987 seasons . . . the accumulated testimony of witnesses, together with the documentary evidence and telephone records reveal extensive betting activity by Pete Rose in connection with professional baseball and, in particular, Cincinnati Reds games, during the 1985, 1986, and 1987 baseball seasons.”

The story of a scoundrel’s downfall.

 

QLE Posted: March 21, 2020 at 12:58 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: gambling, history, investigation, pete rose

 

 

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