Dowd: Pete Rose had relations with minors

The investigator who collected the evidence that proved Pete Rose bet on baseball as he managed the Cincinnati Reds claimed on a radio show that the baseball hit king engaged in relations with minors.

Rose called the new claims "unbelievable."

John Dowd, 74, whose 1989 report on Rose's gambling habits led to a lifetime banishment from professional baseball, claimed in a recently surfaced interview with West Chester radio station WCHE that Rose would entertain young girls during spring training.

Dowd told hosts Bill Werndl and Paul Jolovitz on July 13 that Rose confidant Michael Bertolini "(t)old us that not only did he run bets, but he ran young girls for him down in spring training. Ages 12-14. Isn't that lovely? So that's statutory rape every time you do that."

In an interview with NJ Advance Media, Rose, who played primarily for the Reds and the Philadelphia Phillies, vehemently denied the allegations.

"Where was my family all of this time in spring training? I never went to spring training without my family except for first year when I was a rookie. It's shocking," said Rose, 73. "What level are they going to reach to next? What's Dowd going to talk about next? Something from 50 years ago when I was 24 years old? I don't know why anybody would believe that. It's unbelievable. That's the best one so far."

Last year, new commissioner Rob Manfred said he would reconsider reinstating Rose, which would give him a shot to enter the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Dowd said in the podcast that he doesn't believe Rose, who owns the league record for most hits, will be reinstated.

"I don't think Commissioner Manfred is a fool," he said.