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Pete Rose’s Betting Sheets Analyzed

June 22, 2015

Pete Rose, baseball’s all time hit leader, was banished from baseball after a 1989 raid on his former bookie’s house in New York led to the discovery that Rose was illegally betting on baseball while he was a player and a manager. Baseball’s rules strictly prohibit betting on baseball in any way while you are a player or a manager (See article about this rule click here: Baseball Rule 21).

At the time of the case, Rose plead no contest and did 14 months in prison and paid $350,000 in fines and back taxes for unclaimed income from sold memorabilia that came to light during the same investigation.  Rose also agreed to a lifetime ban by baseball and said he would not challenge it.

Since that time, Pete Rose has said that he had not bet on baseball, then changed his story and said he bet baseball but did not bet on his own team. It appears that both claims were lies as the actual notebook itself has been unsealed. A few of the sheets have been published online and here we will analyze them.



Here we see a betting log made by Michael Bertolini on May 21, 1986. Michael Bertolini’s role in this was as a bookmaker who took bets for Rose but also placed bets himself with a another bookie. He would take Rose’s bets, place his own bets (possibly sometimes as a layoff) and sometimes take on Rose’s full bet, if he liked the opposite bet as Rose (This can be seen in the next image further down).

In this sheet you can see Rose placed his wagers and Bertolini followed his action and placed the bets for himself. This would imply that Bertolini probably laid off Rose’s bets to another bookie as well. In the sheet above you can see that Rose wagered on the Astros to win $5,000 and won. Much of how you can read this is contingent as to whether Bertolini was a “writer” for a larger bookmaking entity, or if he himself was the bankroll.

Bertolini wagered on the Astros as well and won $3,000. Both men then bet the Yankees -150 (implied by the “-50”, many bookies will “shorthand” baseball odds and leave out the number 1). This bet was a $2,000 winner for Rose and a $1,000 win for Bertolini. Next, and most damning, you can see Rose bet on his own team, The Cincinnati Reds. Rose loses $2,000 and Bertolini loses $1000. Finally, under Bertolini’s side there is a losing three team parlay for -$800 (which included a leg on the NBA team The Houston Rockets) as well as a few other single baseball bets.

Sheet #2 – Wednesday April 30, 1986


Sheet two you can see that Bertolini may have taken on Rose’s action himself (instead of betting it or, as mentioned above, possibly laying it off). You can see he took on the Braves bet for $2,000 as well as the Mets bet for $2,000. You can also see that Bertolini was betting many more teams and still coming out ahead in the end and Rose continued to be in the red. It was said that Rose was heavily in debt to the bookies after years of betting and would work off some of his debt by signing and selling memorabilia, all of which was done “under the table”. You Can see an NBA bet of Dallas Mavericks +12 on Pete’s side and a Lakers -12 bet on Bertolini’s side. This appears to be an example of Bertolini actually betting opposite of Rose.

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