Sports memorabilia collectors have an opportunity to own another piece of baseball history: The five-page document Pete Rose signed in which he agreed to a lifetime gambling-related ban from baseball.
The 1989 Rose banishment document also bears the signature of MLB’s then-commissioner A. Bart Giamatti and Fay Vincent, the deputy commissioner. Giamatti died eight days later.
Ken Goldin of Goldin Auctions, the firm handling the transaction, believes that the document could bring about $1 million, slightly more than the record-setting price for the Babe Ruth 1919 contract.
According to ESPN, Rose signed three copies of the banishment agreement on August 23, 1989, and his copy (which reportedly fell into the hands of a third person) is apparently the one that will be put up for sale to the highest bidder by Goldin Auctions starting on October 10.
Goldin added an interesting footnote to baseball history in terms of the far-reaching implications of what Pete Rose signed, ESPN reports:
Goldin, who famously sold 50,000 Rose-signed baseballs on a television show in the 48 hours after “Charlie Hustle” accepted his fate that summer, doesn’t think Rose thought signing the agreement would mean a permanent ban from Cooperstown.
“I am sure he signed this document with a wink-wink, nod-nod, we’ll sweep this under the rug kind of thing,” Goldin said.
With 24 years in the big leagues, Pete Rose is the all-time leader in hits with 4,256. Rose has unsuccessfully applied for reinstatement from the “ineligible list” in 1992 and 1997, which would have made him eligible for the MLB Hall of Fame. Pete Rose finally admitted to betting on baseball while managing the Cincinnati Reds in his 2004 autobiography My Prison Without Bars.
Pete Rose was a 17-time All-Star and a lifetime .303 hitter among his other records. Over his career, he won three World Series rings, three batting titles, and one MVP award, spending most of his MLB service with the Reds. He lives in Las Vegas and spends a lot of time generating income from signing sports memorabilia.