Prepared Statement by Commissioner Giamatti



                        Office of the Commissioner
                          MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL


August 24, 1989


             STATEMENT OF COMMISSIONER A. BARTLETT GIAMATTI


         The banishment for life of Pete Rose from baseball is the sad
end of a sorry episode.  One of the game's greatest players has engaged
in a variety of acts which have stained the game, and he must now live
with the consequences of those acts.  By choosing not to come to a
hearing before me, and by choosing not to proffer any testimony or
evidence contrary to the evidence and information contained in the
report of the Special Counsel to the Commissioner, Mr. Rose has accepted
baseball's ultimate sanction, lifetime ineligibility.

         This sorry episode began last February when baseball received
firm allegations that Mr. Rose bet on baseball games and on the Reds'
games.  Such grave charges could not and must never be ignored.
Accordingly, I engaged and Mr. Ueberroth appointed John Dowd as Special
Counsel to investigate these and other allegations that might arise
and to pursue the truth wherever it took him.  I believed then and
believe now that such a process, whereby an experienced professional
inquires on behalf of the Commissioner as the Commissioner's agent, is
fair and appropriate.  To pretend that serious charges of any kind can 
be responsibly examined by a Commissioner alone fails to recognize the
necessity to bring professionalism and fairness to any examination and
the complexity a private entity encounters when, without judicial or
legal powers, it pursues allegations in the complex, real world.

         Baseball had never before undertaken such a process because
there had not been such grave allegations since the time of Landis.  If
one is responsible for protecting the integrity of the game of baseball
-- that is, the game's authenticity, honesty and coherence -- then the
process one uses to protect the integrity of baseball must itself embody
that integrity.  I sought by means of a Special Counsel of proven
professionalism and integrity, who was obliged to keep the subject of
the investigation and his representatives informed about key
information, to create a mechanism whereby the integrity we sought to
protect was itself never violated.  Similarly, in writing to Mr. Rose on
May 11, I designed, as is my responsibility, a set of procedures for a
hearing that would have afforded him every opportunity to present
statements or testimony of witnesses or any other evidence he saw fit to
answer the information and evidence presented in the Report of the
Special Counsel and its accompanying materials.

         That Mr. Rose and his counsel chose to pursue a course in the
courts rather than appear at hearings scheduled for May 25 and then June
26, and then choose to come forward with a stated desire to settle this
matter is now well known to all.  My purpose in recounting the process
and the procedures animating that process is to make two points
that the American public deserves to know:

         First, that the integrity of the game cannot be defended except
by a process that itself embodies integrity and fairness;

         Second, should any other occasion arise where charges are made
or acts are said to be committed that are contrary to the interests of
the game or that undermine the integrity of baseball, I fully intend to
use such a process and procedure to get to the truth and, if need bem to
root out offending behavior.  I intend to use, in short, every lawful
and ethical means to defend and protect the game.

         I say this so that there may be no doubt about where I stand or
why I stand there.  I believe baseball is a beautiful and exciting game,
loved by millions -- I among them -- and I believe baseball is an
important, enduring American institution.  It must assert and aspire to
the highest principles -- of integrity, of professionalism of
performance, of fair play within its rules.  It will come as no surprise
that like any institution composed of human beings, this institution
will not always fulfill its highest aspirations.  I know of no earthly
institution that does.  But this one, because it is so much a part of
our history as a people and because it has such a purchase on our
national soul, has an obligation to the people for whom it is played
-- to its fans and well-wishers -- to strive for excellence in all
things and to promote the highest ideals.

         I will be told that I am an idealist.  I hope so.  I will
continue to locate ideals I hold for myself and for my country in the
national game as well as in other of our national institutions.  And
while there will be debate and dissent about this or that or another
occurrence on or off the field, and while the game's nobler parts will
always be enmeshed in the human frailties of those who, whatever their
role, have stewardship of this game, let there be no doubt or dissent
about our goals for baseball or our dedication to it.  Nor about our
vigilance and vigor -- and patience -- in protecting the game from
blemish or stain or disgrace.

         The matter of Mr. Rose is now closed.  It will be debated and
discussed.  Let no one think that it did not hurt baseball.  That hurt
will pass, however, as the great glory of the game asserts itself and a
resilient institution goes forward.  Let it also be clear that no
individual is superior to the game.

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