It’s now been 25 years since former Cincinnati Reds switch hitter Pete Rose was banned from Major League Baseball.
The 73-year-old agreed to permanent ineligibility from the sport after it was reported in 1989 that he had gambled on baseball games while both playing for and managing the Cincinnati Reds.
Now, a quarter of a century later, fans are calling on one of the best baseball players of all time to be reinstated into the game. Known colloquially as ‘Charlie Hustler’, the star’s name has been coming back onto everybody’s radar, particularly in light of the impending retirement of Major League Commissioner Bud Selig.
Many sports commentators have had their say on the potential comeback of Pete Rose, including ESPN’s Keith Olbermann, who said of Rose: “He’s done his time. Everyone deserves a second chance.”
But were Rose’s crimes worthy of a lifetime ban? He made quite a name for himself in the 80s as a gambler, and a formal investigation was launched, with many of his associates such as bookmakers being interviewed. In findings named ‘The Dowd Report’, it was revealed that Rose had made bets on 52 Reds games in 1987, waging a minimum of $10,000 per day. Ohio’s Hall of Fame baseball reporter said of Rose’s activities: “The major problem with Rose betting on baseball, particularly the Reds, is that as manager he could control games, make decisions that could enhance his chances of winning his bets, thus jeopardizing the integrity of the game.”
Rose was in direct violation of Rule 21 Misconduct, which forbids any player, umpire, club or league official from betting on game play. In his 2004 autobiography, he admitted to betting on some games, but categorically denied betting on the Reds. Charlie Hustle tried to make one claim for reinstatement in 1992 but subsequently failed.
Some years later in 2003, it was reported that Bud Selig was “considering” his reinstatement, but no further moves were made.
The years have been kind to Rose however: it was recently revealed that he has kept up his gambling habits, having made a huge gamble on real estate which saw him make a $1 million profit. It’s unclear as to whether or not he still likes to have a dabble in sports betting, but it’s likely that he’ll probably be gambling in a more subtle way at RubyFortune.com nowadays rather than getting himself in trouble again for misconduct.
He recently made a brief show of a comeback when he returned to manage the Bridgeport Bluefish in the independent Atlantic League. As the team had no affiliation with MLB, he was perfectly within his rights to do so.
Now, his return to managing could spark a petition for his return. He has told fans: “’I’ve waited 25 years, but I’ve done so because I was the one who screwed up. If I were given a second chance, I would be the happiest guy in the world.”