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Bench Would Close Hall to Rose if He Wagered on Baseball

Retired Cincinnati Reds catcher Johnny Bench, who will be inducted into baseball’s Hall of Fame in July, said that if it is demonstrated that Reds Manager Pete Rose bet on baseball, he should not be permitted a place in the Hall.

In an interview published today in the Cincinnati Enquirer, Bench said he wants to believe that Rose did not bet on baseball games.

“If he bet on baseball games and games that he participated in, then, no, he should not be in the Hall of Fame,” Bench told the newspaper. “If it’s anything else, then it should not take away from what he accomplished on the field. No one can question what he did on the field.”

Rose, 47, a Cincinnati native who holds 19 major records including all-time career hit leader with 4,256 hits, has said he considers himself to be a Hall of Fame player.

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