August 23, 1989: Cincinnati Reds legend Pete Rose banned from baseball
Sometimes, there is crying in baseball, and 30 years ago on August 23, 1989, Cincinnati Reds legend Pete Rose probably cried while receiving his settlement to be permanently banned from the sport of baseball indefinitely after gambling on his own team. It was a decision arrived after many years of debate. From that day forward, Rose could no longer sing, “Take me out to the ballgame.”
Who’s Pete Rose?
Pete Rose, also known as Charlie Hustle, was a professional baseball player who spent the majority of his Major League Baseball [MLB] career playing for the Cincinnati Reds. He was frequently noted for his all-around ability and enthusiasm, eventually named Player of the Decade [1970-79] by The Sporting News. Even though he was popular and a talented player, his career would end with many scandals.
Gambling on the sport
In 2019, it is unacceptable to gamble on a sport you play or coach. However, in the early 20th century, it was a common practice. Some of baseball’s most talented players, including “Turkey” Mike Donlin, Hal Chase, and manager John McGraw, were suspected of gambling on their own games. Back then, there weren’t any penalties.
This changed, however, after the Chicago White Sox purposefully lost the 1919 World Series for a payoff from gambler Arnold Rothstein. American League Commissioner Ban Johnson and others decided it was time to clean up the game. From then on, no one—absolutely no one—could gamble on the team they play for or coach. MLB Rule 21(d) states that a player faces a ban of one year for betting on any baseball game and a lifetime ban for betting on his own team.
Pete Rose’s case
Since the 1970s, people speculated about Pete Rose’s gambling problem. While he primarily bet on horse races and football games, allegations surfaced in early 1989 that Rose was also betting on his own team, the Cincinnati Reds, who he was now managing. MLB Commissioner A. Bartlett Giamatti hired Washington lawyer John Dowd to head an investigation against Rose.
At first, Rose claimed he was innocent, but he eventually accepted a settlement on August 23, 1989. This settlement included a lifetime ban from the game of baseball. He could no longer work in MLB and, despite his talented career, he will never be eligible for the Baseball Hall of Fame.