Pete Rose, the man known as “Charlie Hustle” during a career that spanned time with the Cincinnati Reds, Philadelphia Phillies, and Montreal Expos, racking up 4,256 career hits and a career 0.303 average, is asking the court hearing his divorce for relief, according to TMZ. Despite being the MLB all-time hit king, Rose was banned from the game for not only betting on baseball when managing the Reds but betting on his own team. Although Rose to this day maintains that it is ridiculous to punished for betting on his team to win for 29 years, baseball hasn’t seen it that way.
When Rose was barred from the MLB and its affiliated minor leagues, he also lost the Hall of Fame, as his name was left off the ballot when he would have first become eligible and each subsequent year. While some voting members have written him in, it has never amounted to enough to make a serious case that the voting body feels he belongs. With the one revenue stream he counted on to support him gone, Rose turned to the baseball memorabilia market to make money.
— Stanhopes Death Pool (@StanhopesCDP) September 14, 2018
Regardless of what the MLB thought of Rose, fans were willing to turn out almost every weekend, somewhere across the U.S., to meet the legend in person, get an autograph, and take a photo. Of course, they paid Rose (and the show promoters) for the privilege, according to WKRC. It was enough to provide him with a seven-figure income annually and keep him somehow connected to the game that was his life. Although he ran afoul of the IRS some years ago for failure to report income, he settled most of his debts and for the past several years has continued doing memorabilia shows and quietly lobbying the Baseball Writers Association of America to consider him on Hall of Fame votes so he could have the honor before dying.
So Pete Rose is in poor health. If he passes away, watch @baseballhof induct him in. That would be sooo messed up!
— MIZSports&Broncosfan (@guitarslayer70) September 14, 2018
As life has often done to Rose, it threw him another curve, one which has lead to a very long and messy divorce from his estranged wife Carol Rose. USA Today Cincinnati described the proceeding as “bitter.” The pair married in 1984, and their divorce proceedings began in 2011. Mrs. Rose contends that her husband is still a compulsive high-stakes gambler and that he is making over a $1 million a year still, despite his filings that claim he only makes $453,000 a year.
“Carol Rose said earlier this year that the Big Red Machine great remains a ‘high stakes gambler’ who has significant debts with casinos and the IRS and fails to pay support on time.”
Rose cited his three heart operations and need to be on blood thinners as contributing factors to his decline in income due to his inability to travel. “I am in poor health and disabled,” is how he described himself in court documents. He also cited the loss of his job with Fox Sports and Hit King Baseball, a baseball academy in the Houston suburb of Katy, as contributing factors for his request for relief from the court to grant the divorce immediately.
— Capitol Theatre (@atthecap) September 12, 2018
Despite Rose’s claims of not being able to travel much, USA Today Cincinnati reported he is still making a significant amount of trips to memorabilia shows, at least every other weekend on average, maintains offers for “dinner with Rose,” running $5,000 plus all expenses, as reported by Cincinnati.com, and a wide range of personal autograph services offered via his website and appearances booked out through 2019.