Dan Patrick: “Give me the toughest story to tell in this book.”
Jim Gray: “It’s probably Pete Rose, and the Pete Rose interview that happened 21 years ago, just because of everything that went on, and all of the vitriol and tumult that was associated with it for me, for him, for the network, for everyone involved, and for baseball.”
DP: “Walk us through it. What was your game plan in talking to Pete.”
Gray: “We had our meeting and we wanted to speak with Pete. We didn’t really know if he was going to speak or not, and then we got confirmation that he would. We all had a meeting, and everybody agreed with what the line of questioning had to be. It was the first time he had been on the field in 10 years… The idea was to ask him about what had gone on in his life… I saw Pete in a room with all the greats they were celebrating -- the All-Century Team -- and I talked to him briefly about the interview. He said ‘what would it be about?’ and I said 'it’s going to be about everything in your life, Pete', and he agreed… When he came over I just started asking the questions, and felt like it was necessary at that time to establish why he hadn’t been in baseball, and did he want to make some sort of admission. It just kind of careened from there. Believe it or not, I sat down with Pete Rose 21 years later and had an interview… He says in the special that he had been playing baseball since he was 8 years old, and he says it was just not in his best interests to come clean. First of all, he didn’t think they had the evidence, even after they HAD the evidence. He said ‘If I would have admitted this I was guaranteeing my own banishment, so it was just better to lie and hope that they didn’t, and that it would go away’, and it got away from him.”
Listen to renown sportscaster Jim Gray join The Dan Patrick Show to discuss his infamous on-field interview with Pete Rose before the 1999 All-Star Game, when an invasive line of questioning into Rose’s dark history with gambling became an unfortunately synonymous memory with both men's careers.
Check out the segment above as Gray discusses line the of questioning, and also details what a later interview with Rose revealed about why Rose lied on national TV.
Check out the FULL interview with Gray below, as well as the unforgettable 1999 interview.