Pete Rose Admits He Bet on Baseball

ByABC News
December 29, 2003, 3:09 PM

Jan. 5 -- After denying it for nearly 15 years, sports legend Pete Rose is admitting that he bet on baseball and on his own team while managing the Cincinnati Reds.

"I bet on baseball in 1987 and 1988," the baseball great told ABCNEWS' Charles Gibson in an interview to be aired on Primetime Thursday on Jan. 8.

"That was my mistake, not coming clean a lot earlier," he said.

The revelation is also expected to be included in Rose's new autobiography published by Rodale, My Prison Without Bars, which is to be released the same day.

In his interview with Primetime, Rose says he bet without knowing how drastic the penalties would be.

"You don't think you're going to get caught," he said. He said he didn't think he was special, or above the law.

"I think what happens is you're, at the time, you're betting football and then, then what's after football is basketball and obviously the next thing that follows is baseball. It's just a pattern that you got into."


The admission could open the door for Rose to be reinstated into baseball and voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Over a three-decade career in baseball, Rose earned the nickname "Charlie Hustle" for his aggressive play and desire to win. He set dozens of records including breaking Ty Cobb's record for the most hits ever. That achievement, on Sept. 11, 1985, earned him a nine-minute ovation.

But in 1989, reports emerged that Rose, then the Reds' manager, was gambling on baseball. After a six-month investigation by Major League Baseball, on Aug. 24 of that year, he agreed to leave baseball for life; but wouldn't have to admit or deny that he bet on Major League Baseball. Part of the agreement allowed Rose to apply for reinstatement after a year.

Rose says he regrets lying to baseball officials in 1989. "People have to understand I wish this would have never happened," he said. "But I can't change it, it's happened. And sitting here in my position, you're just looking for a second chance."