Pete Rose rode his reputation as "Charlie Hustle" to become Major League Baseball's all-time hits king and to become known as one of the scrappiest players to every the game. Unfortunately, there was another side of being "Charlie Hustle" that has forever placed a shadow over Pete Rose and everything he ever accomplished on the baseball field.
Now the shadow grows darker.
In a special investigative report by ESPN's Outside the Lines, new evidence has come forth that proves that Pete Rose's betting on baseball may have reached further than previously known. New documents obtained indicate that Rose may have been placing bets on baseball since 1986, when he was still a player for the Cincinnati Reds.
A three-time batting champ and World Series winner, Rose had a reputation for placing himself above the game and that proved to be his downfall. Rose was permanently banned from baseball on August 24, 1989 when it became known that he was betting on the game while serving as player/manager of the Cincinnati Reds. For years after, Rose maintained his innocence before finally coming forward in 2004 and confirming that he bet on baseball as the Reds manager in 1987, as indicated in the Dowd Report.
However, the Dowd Report was flawed, as Dowd himself was never able to confirm that Rose bet on the game while playing it, something that has resulted in lifetime bans for Shoeless Joe Jackson and members of the infamous Chicago Black Sox. However, according to ESPN, the new documents indicate that Rose did indeed bet on baseball and on 21 of the 30 days accounted for, Rose bet on the team he was playing for, the Cincinnati Reds.
These latest findings would only seem to hurt Rose as he again asks the league for reinstatement, something that would allow him to enshrined in Cooperstown as his Hall of Fame numbers would justify. Rose is first in Major League Baseball history with 4,256 hits and 3,562 games played, and made 17 All-Star appearances.
Rose currently serves as a special guest analyst for Fox Sports MLB broadcasts and is scheduled to take part in the All-Star festivities at Great American Ballpark later this summer. After the All-Star break, Rose was expected to meet with new MLB commissioner Rob Manfred to discuss possible reinstatement, his fifth such petition to the league to remove his ban. However, the likelihood that the ban would be lifted at this stage is dim at best.
At this point, the only thing Pete Rose can do is come completely clean and fall on the mercy of the new commissioner. He certainly has his supporters in the baseball world as to his eligibility for the Hall of Fame, and Rose will hope that they can see past his decades of lying to finally end his wait. However, even if he is reinstated, he still must win election from the Hall of Fame veterans committee, a group that is still charged in judging a player not only by his accomplishments but also his character.
And it is in character where Pete Rose has his biggest flaw, one that will likely hold him out of the Baseball Hall of Fame for eternity.
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