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August 1, 2015

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Pete Rose sells copies of his baseball walking papers

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Garrett Downing

Pete Rose, baseball’s all time leader in hits, smiles as he talks with fans at the Field of Dreams sports and celebrity memorabilia shop.

For $500, you can own copies of the documents that formalized Pete Rose’s banishment from Major League Baseball.

Baseball’s all-time leader in hits has begun selling notarized copies of his walking papers at Antiquities inside the Forum Shops at Caesars Palace and on his website.

“My banishment from baseball is a major event in the history of the game,” Rose said in a statement. “The positive support from my fans has been overwhelming since my banishment, and I wanted to offer my supporters and all baseball fans a chance to share an important aspect of my personal history.”

Rose was permanently banned from baseball in 1989 amid allegations of gambling, accusations he later confirmed. It was a staggering fall from grace for a player who earned 14 MLB records, three World Series rings, two Gold Glove awards and an MVP title.

A year after the ban was imposed, Rose pleaded guilty to two charges of filing false income tax returns to hide income he received from bets on horse racing and from selling autographs and memorabilia. He was sentenced to five months in jail and 1,000 hours of community service.

These days, Rose is a regular in Las Vegas and on the autograph circuit. He can be seen almost every day sitting behind a folding table in local memorabilia shops waiting for fans to approach. This month alone, he has scheduled 24 days of autograph signing at Antiquities.

His latest offering, the banishment papers, is notarized in Nevada and comes bound in copper and leather. The papers feature Rose’s signature and an inscription: “I’m sorry I bet on baseball.” Rose offered to personalize copies for customers at no extra charge.

Rose has taken to hawking many of his goods for cash, including photographs, gloves and baseballs. An autographed Cincinnati Reds cap sells for $99.99, as does a signed copy of his book, “My Prison Without Bars.” For an unspecified price, Rose will speak at a corporate event, and for $5,000 he’ll dine with you at your choice of a Las Vegas restaurant. Just keep in mind: the price includes the meal and a signed baseball, but only $100 worth of alcohol.

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