One day after Major League Baseball denied his application for reinstatement, former Cincinnati Reds legend and baseball’s all-time hits leader Pete Rose spoke Tuesday at a press conference in Las Vegas.
Rose, 74, was banned from baseball in 1989 for gambling on the game while managing the Reds.
“The commissioner, we put him in a tough spot,” Rose said. “Obviously, I’m disappointed. but I’ll continue to be the biggest baseball fan ever.”
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Rose, who finished his career with 4,256 hits, applied for reinstatement this year for the third time and met with MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred in September.
Here are 5 more things Pete Rose said Tuesday during his press conference:
1. “Obviously, I’m disappointed. … But I’m not gonna sit here on Las Vegas Boulevard and complain about it because I’m the one that screwed up. I’m the one that made the mistake. You win some, you lose some. You get rained out unless you’re playing in the dome. You have to live with it and become a better person because of it.”
2. “I’m a baseball player, I’m a baseball person. That’s never going to change. I spent 26 years in the major leagues and I’ve spent 26 years out of the major leagues. I can tell you the last 26 years were a helluva lot worse than the 26 years I spent in the big leagues.”
3. “There was a time in my life when I was out of control gambling. But I worked hard at it and got it under wraps the last several years. I’m in control of my life right now. I’m doing well.”
4. “I didn’t continue to gamble like I used to. I know it’s hard to understand. I worked hard my whole life. I’m 74 years old. That’s the way I get my enjoyment. If I want to bet on a football game and go home and watch it, that’s my night of enjoyment. You’re probably right, I shouldn’t have done that, but you only live once. I’ve got to live my life. You’re only here once. Everything I do today is legal and I’m in control of myself.”
5. “Based on how I approached the game and the records that I have it would be nice to have the opportunity to go to the hall of fame. … My whole life has been a hall of fame life, just by the association of the teammates I had. … All I’m looking forward to is some day being a friend of baseball. I want baseball and Pete Rose to be friends so I can’t say I’m not an outsider looking in. I’ve got grandkids. They want their grandpa to be associated with baseball, that’s all.”