(Reuters) - All-time hits leader Pete Rose's bid to have his lifetime ban from Major League Baseball overturned was denied by Commissioner Rob Manfred on Monday due in part to his admission that he still bets on baseball.
Rose, who has been ineligible for Hall of Fame consideration since being banned in 1989 for allegedly gambling on games while playing for and managing the Cincinnati Reds, met with Manfred in September to make a case for reinstatement.
In a written decision, Manfred said Rose still bets on baseball, even though gambling got him banned from the sport, and that it would be an "unacceptable risk" to let him back in the game.
"Mr Rose's public and private comments, including his initial admission in 2004, provide me with little confidence that he has a mature understanding of his wrongful conduct, that he has accepted full responsibility for it, or that he understands the damage he has caused," said Manfred.
"I am also not convinced that he has avoided the type of conduct and associations that originally led to his placement on the permanently ineligible list."
Rose, 74, had denied for nearly 15 years that he had bet on baseball, the game's cardinal sin since 1919 when members of the Chicago White Sox conspired to throw the World Series.
He finally admitted in his 2004 autobiography to making baseball wagers when he was Cincinnati's manager but said he never bet against his team.
Manfred said Rose could still participate in ceremonial activities that presented no threat to the integrity of the game, provided the events were approved by him in advance.
In July, Rose was honored prior to the MLB All-Star Game in Cincinnati and received a long standing ovation as he joined Hall of Famers Johnny Bench, Joe Morgan and Barry Larkin in being voted by fans as Cincinnati's 'Franchise Four'.
Rose, whose previous efforts to gain leniency from MLB commissioners were never considered, had earlier this year sent a formal request to have the ban lifted by Manfred, who took over as MLB Commissioner in January.
Rose, who grew up in Cincinnati and earned the nickname "Charlie Hustle" for his aggressive style of play while with the Reds, played from 1963 to 1986, amassing 4,256 hits, still the major league record.
Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; editing by Clare Fallon and Ken Ferris