Former Major League Baseball player Pete Rose signs an autograph prior to managing the game for the Bridgeport Bluefish against the Lancaster Barnstormers on June 16, 2014 in Bridgeport, Conn. 
Photo by Christopher Pasatieri/Getty

Report: Pete Rose bet on baseball when he was still a player

For years, one of Pete Rose’s primary defenses has centered on the notion that he only bet on baseball as a manager, not as a player. ESPN’s Outside the Lines is reporting, however, that that is not the case:

But new documents obtained by Outside the Lines indicate Rose bet extensively on baseball — and on the Cincinnati Reds — as he racked up the last hits of a record-smashing career in 1986. The documents go beyond the evidence presented in the 1989 Dowd report that led to Rose’s banishment and provide the first written record that Rose bet while he was still on the field.

“This does it. This closes the door,” said John Dowd, the former federal prosecutor who led MLB’s investigation.

The documents — which you can see via the ESPN link above — were part of a separate organized crime investigation which had nothing to do with Rose specifically or gambling. The records have been sealed for years and even Dowd was unable to get records of the original Rose investigation. He had testimony of an organized crime figure at the time, but no corroboration.

The bets tended to be around $2,000 a game. He bet on multiple games a day for multiple days in a row at a time, his addiction to gambling made plain.

The documents do not provide any evidence that Rose bet against the Reds. Worth noting, however, that baseball’s rules against gambling do not make a distinction, and the competitive integrity of a game can be compromised whether one bets for or against oneself. Also worth noting that, for years, Pete Rose has steadfastly denied betting on baseball while he was still an active player.

Rose is currently appealing his banishment from the game, with Commissioner Rob Manfred stating that he will give Rose’s case a full and fresh review. Some have speculated that his reinstatement could come at the time of the All-Star Game in Cincinnati next month, or soon after. 

In an emailed statement to NBC, Pete Rose said that he could not comment on “specific matters relating to reinstatement,” but was “eager to sit down with Mr. Manfred to address my entire history — the good and the bad — and my long personal journey since Baseball.”

Rose had already received permission to participate in on-field activities during the All-Star festivities. One would have to think, however, that this new information will put a serious damper on his appeal.

This post originally appeared on NBC Sports.

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Report: Pete Rose bet on baseball when he was still a player