I did not mention dad’s friendship with Pete Rose in my 2008 book, “Son of a Son of a Gambler: Winners, Losers and What to Do When You Win the Lottery.”
At that time, Pete had not admitted he bet on baseball. I wrote the book like my dad was looking over my shoulder. I was not going to hurt or embarrass one of his friends.
I’m releasing an updated version of the book on my dad’s 80th birthday, July 30. Several people have died since the first release, so the book will be more revealing.
Dad’s friends and clients were a who’s who of the Cincinnati region, but in most circumstances, I never knew who was a client and who was just a friend.
I guessed that Pete was a client but never knew for sure.
I knew Dad and Pete were good friends. During college, Dad gave me Pete’s tickets and seated me next to a stunning young blond named Carol. At the time, Pete was married to a woman named Karolyn. When Pete came to bat, Carol would jump up and down and go crazy. I got the impression Carol and Pete were more than casual friends.
A couple of years later, Carol became Mrs. Pete Rose.
Although he broke the law every day of his adult life, Dad was closed-mouthed about his client list. Thus, asking him about Pete was something I only would do on his deathbed.
He told me that Pete never bet on baseball with him and only bet football for a short time. Dad thought that having a sports figure client like Pete was not a good business decision.
The bookie who took Pete’s baseball bets should have made the same decision.
I still wasn’t sure about writing about Pete until famed Knoxville trial attorney Donna Davis and her husband, Ivan Buzz Beltz, ran into Pete, who was signing his book, “A Prison Without Bars,” in Las Vegas.