Thirty of Rose's apology baseballs sell for $1,000 each

Updated: September 22, 2006, 8:59 PM ET
Associated Press

CINCINNATI -- Thirty baseballs that Pete Rose signed and inscribed with an apology for betting on baseball were sold Friday for $1,000 apiece.

The baseballs were scheduled to be put up for bid in April by Robert Edwards Auctions, which is selling sports memorabilia from the estate of former New York Yankees limited partner Barry Halper.

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ESI Entertainment Systems Inc., a British Columbia company that provides gaming products and services, offered $30,000 for the 30 balls. The auction house consulted Halper's family, which accepted the offer.

Auction house president Robert Lifson said he recommended accepting the offer after Rose started selling identical apology baseballs on his Web site for $299 apiece. The baseballs feature "I'm sorry I bet on baseball" printed in block letters above Rose's autograph.

Lifson said the Canadian company was aware that Rose is selling cheaper baseballs online.

Rose accepted a lifetime ban for gambling in 1989 but denied for nearly 15 years that he bet on baseball. He finally acknowledged in his latest autobiography, published in January 2004, that he made baseball wagers while he managed the Cincinnati Reds.

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press