There was a for sale sign out front, the agent told him. Postal Inspection Service in October 1989, nearly two months after Rose was declared permanently ineligible by Major League Baseball. He placed his financial interest ahead of the Reds, period.”
o Most bets, regardless of sport, were about $2,000. The largest single bet was $5,500 on the Boston Celtics, a bet he lost.
When the case began, it didn’t look particularly enticing, Barney said. After Bertolini pleaded guilty and received a federal prison sentence, Sports Illustrated, The New York Times, ESPN and other news organizations filed freedom of information requests with the U.S. Dowd and his team had sworn testimony from bookie Ron Peters that Rose bet on the Reds from 1984 through 1986, but not written documentation. There was stuff everywhere,” Barney said.
“It was a mere ‘failure to render [services]‘ complaint,” said Barney, who is now retired. It’s another device by Pete to try to excuse what he did,” Dowd said. And that is a very powerful problem,” Dowd said. The man’s name was Michael Bertolini, and the business he ran out of his home was called Hit King Marketing Inc.
Yes, he admitted in 2004, after almost 15 years of denials, he had placed bets on baseball, but he insisted it was only as a manager.
In April, Outside the Lines examined the Bertolini memorabilia kept in the National Archives’ New York office, but the betting book — held apart from everything else — was off-limits. “This is the final piece of the puzzle on a New York betting operation with organized crime. They took any records I had whatsoever, and they took different personal belongings and memorabilia from my home.”
The documents obtained by Outside the Lines, which reflect betting records from March through July 1986, show no evidence that Rose, who was a player-manager in 1986, bet against his team.
Outside the Lines tracked down two of the postal inspectors who conducted the raid on Bertolini’s home in 1989 and asked them to review the documents. Attorney’s Office seeking access to the book. It looked to them as if Bertolini had been signing memorabilia with the forged names of some of the most famous baseball players in history: Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, Duke Snider, Mike Schmidt and Pete Rose. [The mob] had a mortgage on Pete while he was a player and manager.”
“This does it. Attorney’s Office internal memorandum from 2000 that requested the spiral notebook’s transfer said Bertolini’s closed file has “sufficient historical or other value to warrant its continued preservation by the United States Government.” The memorandum listed among its attachments a copy of the notebook, but a copy of the memorandum provided by the National Archives had no attachments and had a section redacted.
“There were numbers and dates and — it was a book for sports betting,” Barney said. District Court in Brooklyn six years later (he served 14 months for tax fraud and a concurrent assault sentence):
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. Under MLB Rule 21, “Any player, umpire, or club or league official or employee, who shall bet any sum whatsoever upon any baseball game in connection with which the bettor has a duty to perform shall be declared permanently ineligible.”
o But on 21 of the days it’s clear he bet on baseball, he gambled on the Reds, including on games in which he played.
“He wasn’t forthcoming with much information,” she said, “but he did acknowledge to me it was records of bets he made for Pete Rose.”
“We knew that [Bertolini] recorded the bets, and that he bet himself, but we never had his records. 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.
Dowd, who reviewed the documents at Outside the Lines’ request, said his investigators had tried but failed to obtain Bertolini’s records, believing they would be the final piece in their case that Rose was betting with mob-connected bookmakers in New York. “We didn’t know anything about Bertolini or his connection [to Rose].”
In April, Rose repeated his denial, this time on Michael Kay’s ESPN New York 98.7 FM radio show, that he bet on baseball while he was a player. That gave them probable cause to seek a search warrant.
Freelance researcher Liam Quinn contributed to this report. “I was taken aback.”. He refused to give them to us,” Dowd said. On Monday morning, MLB officials declined to comment about the notebook.
Flynn, who said her first reaction was “Holy mackerel,” said they asked Bertolini about the notebook.
The documents are copies of pages from a notebook seized from the home of former Rose associate Michael Bertolini during a raid by the U.S. This closes the door,” said John Dowd, the former federal prosecutor who led MLB’s investigation.
o In the time covered in the notebook, from March through July, Rose bet on at least one MLB team on 30 different days. 13, a few days after the undercover house tour and after obtaining a search warrant, they searched Bertolini’s home and found evidence that would lead to numerous convictions. That came during his worst week of the four-month span, when he lost $25,500.
But Rose’s supporters have based part of their case for his reinstatement on his claim that he never bet while he was a player or against his team, saying that sins he committed as a manager shouldn’t diminish what he did as a player.
“I wish I had been able to use it [the book] all those years he was denying he bet on baseball,” said Flynn, the former postal inspector.
If the accusation was true, it would constitute mail fraud, but the Click for more