Pete Rose Accused of Using Corked Bats by Former Expos Groundskeeper Joe Jammer

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistMay 5, 2020

Pete Rose of the Montreal Expos peers through players sunglasses, March 26, 1984, before the game with the Boston Red Sox in Winter Haven, Fla. Rose lead off for the Expos and produced a single to left field. (AP Photo/G. Paul Burnett)
G. Paul Burnett/Associated Press

According to Danny Gallagher of the Montreal Gazette, betting on baseball wasn't the only thing Pete Rose did that could make people around the sport unhappy.

Joe Jammer was a groundskeeper for the Montreal Expos for 11 seasons, one of which was the 1984 campaign when Rose was on the team. He told Gallagher the hit king corked his bats as a player and had help from someone in the visitors' clubhouse at Olympic Stadium.

"Pete was too smart to deal with Expos equipment manager John Silverman [to cork his bats in the Expos' clubhouse]," Jammer said. "So Bryan Greenberg, who worked in the visitors' clubhouse, did it."

Jammer also said Greenberg told him Rose corked his bats throughout his career and that he was never checked "because he's a singles hitter."

Greenberg would not confirm such allegations, but an anonymous source did.

Rose played from 1963 through 1986 for the Expos, Cincinnati Reds and Philadelphia Phillies. He was a member of the Expos for only part of the 1984 season, but he reached the 4,000-hit milestone in their uniform.

From a statistical perspective, there is no doubt Rose belongs in the Hall of Fame. After all, nobody in Major League Baseball history has more hits than his 4,256, and he amassed three World Series titles, a National League MVP Award, an NL Rookie of the Year Award, three batting titles, two Gold Glove Awards and 17 All-Star selections.

Bartlett Giamatti banned him from baseball—with the Hall of Fame subsequently making banned players ineligible for election—for life for betting on games as Reds player-manager in 1986.