Pete Rose won a big bet on the 1988 Super Bowl and bought a Porsche the day after winning a lot of money at baccarat, according to a longtime friend of the Cincinnati Reds manager.
Tommy Gioiosa also said he placed bets for Rose at race tracks. Baseball’s all-time hits leader didn’t like to go to the betting windows in person because he would be bothered by fans, Gioiosa said.
“Pete liked to go to the track,” he told the Boston Sunday Globe. “He would bet $2,000 or $4,000 or $8,000, maybe between $4,000 and $10,000, but Pete was good at it. I’d say overall . . . that Pete is ahead with his gambling.”
Gioiosa, a college baseball player when he met Rose in Florida in 1978, declined comment when asked if he ever placed bets for Rose with a bookie. Michael Fry, a former gym owner now in prison for cocaine trafficking and income-tax evasion, recently told Sports Illustrated that he heard that Gioiosa had placed bets for Rose on basketball and football games.
‘Still Not Positive’
Gioiosa said he is scheduled to meet Tuesday with representatives of the commissioner’s office, which is investigating allegations that Rose broke baseball’s gambling rules.
“I’m still not positive if I’m going to go,” Gioiosa said. “I’m going to talk to Pete . . . and then take it from there.”
Commissioner’s spokesman Rich Levin said the office would not comment on the investigation.
Gioiosa said he lived with Rose for five years, until Rose and his first wife were divorced. When Rose remarried, Gioiosa bought a condominium nearby, adding, “I’d be over there all the time . . . see him every day, have breakfast with him, wash his car, go to the track with him.”
Rose placed a large bet on the Washington Redskins to win the 1988 Super Bowl, Gioiosa said. He said the bet was placed in Las Vegas, where sports gambling is legal.
Gioiosa said Rose also liked to play baccarat. The day after one successful night at the tables, Gioiosa said, Rose bought a Porsche.
“I’m not saying he won enough to pay cash for the Porsche,” Gioiosa said. “All I know is that he had the Porsche the next day. . . . Maybe he won enough for a good down payment.”
Gioiosa introduced Rose to Paul Janszen, who, according to an unidentified Sports Illustrated source, was involved in baseball betting with Rose.
The SI source said Rose exchanged gambling-related signals with Janszen during a Reds game at Riverfront Stadium. Rose has denied the charge.
Gioiosa also dismissed the allegation, saying you couldn’t bet on a game once it started.