For more than 25 years, a notebook seized from the home of one of Pete Rose's ex-associates in a mail-fraud investigation has been locked down by court order, most recently in the National Archives' New York office. But ESPN's Outside the Lines has reportedly obtained pages from that notebook, and what's on them verifies what many people have suspected for ages: that Rose had bet on Cincinnati Reds and other MLB games, not just as a manager (which he's previously copped to), but also as a player, which he's steadfastly denied. "This does it. This closes the door," says John Dowd, the federal prosecutor who helmed MLB's probe into Rose in the late '80s and ended up producing the 1989 report that led to Rose's lifetime ban from baseball.
The documents ESPN has reportedly show Rose's "extensive" betting records from March through July 1986 recorded by then-associate Michael Bertolini. There's no proof Rose bet against the Reds in these documents, but MLB prohibits gambling whether you're betting for your team or against it, notes NBC Sports. The pages appear to be the final nail in the coffin that Dowd could never get (he had sworn testimony from a bookie but no written proof). What ESPN's excavation does document for this time period: Rose bet on at least one MLB team on 30 different days, he put money down on the Reds on days when he was at bat, and most of his bets were around $2,000. There's no comment yet from MLB officials or Rose—who NBC notes is currently appealing his banishment; Bertolini's attorney says his client "is not interested in speaking to anyone about these issues." (Ah, timing: Cincinnati.com just put up this nice piece about Rose's "potential redemption.")