Baseball's all-time hit king has been hit with another tax lien by the Internal Revenue Service.
Pete Rose, who has battled the IRS as much as Major League Baseball since he was banned for life from the sport 15 years ago, owes $973,693.28 in back
taxes accumulated from 1997 to 2002, according to an IRS document filed to the Broward County (Fla.) public records and recorded on Tuesday.
TheSmokingGun.com, a Web site that specializes in uncovering public records, first revealed the document this week.
The address listed on the tax lien is the location of Dreams Inc., the sports memorabilia company that has had an exclusive agreement with Rose since
December 2000. Rose's attorney, Warren Greene, who works for the company, did not immediately return a message seeking comment.
A Major League Baseball spokesman also did not immediately return a call, though the New York Daily News cited an informed source who said MLB
president and chief operating officer Bob DuPuy "will be looking into this." An IRS spokesman said it is the agency's policy not to comment on
specifics of liens it files.
Liens are filed after the government fails to collect money owed by a taxpayer. Once filed, a lien freezes the assets of the taxpayer's property and
forces the debt to be paid should the property be sold.
In 1990, Rose served a five-month sentence for tax evasion. In 1998, he owed $151,689 to the government thanks to taxes on a home he owned in Sherman
Oaks, Calif. He paid off the debt in July 2003.
Despite speculation that Rose could get reinstated from his lifetime ban imposed by commissioner Bart Giamatti in 1989 as a result of his gambling,
his Hall of Fame chances likely weren't helped by the manner in which he admitted that he did indeed bet on baseball while managing the Reds.
Although Rose did admit to current commissioner Bud Selig -- after years of denying it -- that he bet on baseball, his public admission, in which he
claimed that he never bet against the Reds or made bets from the clubhouse, came out in a book published in January. At the time, many baseball
insiders criticized the way he was profiting from his apology to the masses.
The book, "My Prison Without Bars," had a first run printing of 500,000 copies. After a brisk first couple of weeks on store shelves and a spot on the
New York Times bestsellers list, sales of the book have been disappointing. Copies of the book hit the discount sales rack, and the book, which
retailed for $24.95 recently, has been discounted to $9.95 on Amazon.com.
If he were to be reinstated, Rose has one more chance to be voted into the Hall of Fame by the Baseball Writers' Association of America. Lifting of
the ban after that would make him eligible to be voted in by the Veterans Committee, a group comprised of living Hall of Famers, many of whom have
publicly stated that they would still not vote for Rose if they were given a chance.
[Edited on 8/20/2004 by Ben]