Pete Rose Answers Viewer Questions

Answer: This is not a denying statement, but I went through 3 or 4 Gamblers Anonymous meetings and I'd sit there and listen to other people talk about their problems and I tried, and I tried to put myself in their position, but their stories didn't sound like — I wasn't stealing money to make bets, doing this or doing that … and I appreciated them, but the other stories I heard from the addicts, were illegal and desperate … I was illegal betting with a bet maker but I was never desperate — take my house payment money or car payment — I took money that I had for entertainment and the entertainment that I had was gambling. At the time we're talking about [I] was a pretty high-salary individual to begin with.

I'm not trying to insinuate that because I had money that it excused me from what I did, I still was wrong doing it. What I was trying to clarify, I wasn't in my eyes in the same category as the other people at the gambling anonymous meetings. …

And I appreciate their honesty because I was there as someone that was trying to find myself, although I didn't agree with what I was hearing, I think it helped me. I had to leave in back doors so no one saw me coming in, so it was a rough period of time. I think it was during the investigation, it might have been after I was suspended, I don't have total recall on that situation.

Question: Since you admitted to betting on baseball and hope for reinstatement, and eventually a spot in the Hall of Fame, do you feel that others such as the 1919 Chicago White Sox players who supposedly bet on baseball should be reinstated and be eligible for the Hall of Fame?

Answer: Well, you know not being 100 percent up to speed on what happened in 1919 I really don't know, I don't know what they were accused of. I know what I did, I know what I admitted to and I can only speculate on what I read. And if I'm not mistaken, now don't hold me to this, if I'm not mistaken the 1919 Black Sox scandal was a scandal because of guys taking money to lose teams, I don't think that has any similarity to what I did. I bet on the game of baseball and I bet on my team, even the mistakes I made, I have to take a different look at someone betting against their own team … that's' throwing the game.

It's hard to tolerate what I did, but ” that you can't tolerate. But baseball's pretty good if you could have a gambling scandal in 1919 and not again until mine that's pretty good.

Because of what happened to me … because I don't think that being suspended from 1989 to today, going on 15 years, if you get 15 years for something it's more than a slap on the wrist. And you take the type of money that the players are making today, the average player makes $5 million a year, and suspend him for 15 years, that's $75 million he's going to lose. So they should be thinking before they even consider gambling and that's just from looking at my case. So maybe we can take this negative and hopefully make it a positive for the future of baseball.

Question: Did you ever gamble as a player?

Answer: Not to my knowledge, see that was a question that kind of astounded people yesterday, that I don't really understand is this.

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