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The Cincinnati Reds' 1989 season consisted of the Cincinnati Reds attempting to win the National League West for the first time since 1979. The season was defined by allegations of gambling by Pete Rose. Before the end of the season, Rose was banned from baseball by commissioner A. Bartlett Giamatti.


  • November 5, 1988: Skeeter Barnes was signed as a Free Agent with the Cincinnati Reds.
  • December 2, 1988: Rick Mahler signed as a Free Agent with the Cincinnati Reds.
  • December 21, 1988: Manny Trillo signed as a Free Agent with the Cincinnati Reds.
  • December 21, 1988: Joel Youngblood was signed as a Free Agent with the Cincinnati Reds.
  • December 21, 1988: Ken Griffey, Sr. was released by the Cincinnati Reds.
  • March 28, 1989: Randy St. Claire was released by the Cincinnati Reds.
  • March 30, 1989: Kent Tekulve signed as a Free Agent with the Cincinnati Reds.
  • March 30, 1989: Ken Griffey, Sr. signed as a Free Agent with the Cincinnati Reds.

Ohio Cup

A pennant from the 1989 Ohio Cup.
The first Ohio Cup, which was an annual pre-season baseball game was played in 1989. The single-game cup was played at Cooper Stadiummarker in Columbus, Ohiomarker, and was staged just days before the start of each new Major League Baseball season.

No. Year Winner Runner-up Score Venue Date Attendance
1 1989 Indians Reds 1-0 Cooper Stadiummarker April 2 15,978

Regular season

Season standings

Notable transactions

  • May 25, 1989: Manny Trillo was released by the Cincinnati Reds.
  • July 18, 1989: Tim Leary was traded by the Los Angeles Dodgers with Mariano Duncan to the Cincinnati Reds for Kal Daniels and Lenny Harris.

Pete Rose: Permanent Ineligibility

Amid reports that he had bet on baseball, Rose was questioned in February by outgoing commissioner Peter Ueberroth and his replacement, Bart Giamatti. Rose denied the allegations and Ueberroth dropped the investigation. However, after Giamatti became Commissioner, three days later, lawyer John Dowd was retained to investigate these charges against Rose. A Sports Illustrated cover story published on March 21, 1989 gave the public their first detailed report of the allegations that Rose had placed bets on baseball games.

Dowd interviewed many of Rose's associates, including alleged bookies and bet runners. He delivered a summary of his findings to the Commissioner in May, a document which became known as the Dowd Report. In it, Dowd documented Rose's alleged gambling activities in 1985 and 1986 and compiled a day-by-day account of Rose's alleged betting on baseball games in 1987. The Dowd Report documented his alleged bets on 52 Reds games in , where Rose wagered a minimum of $10,000 a day. Others involved in the allegations claim that number was actually $2,000 a day.

According to the Dowd Report itself, "no evidence was discovered that Rose bet against the Reds." This is in contrast to the case of "Shoeless" Joe Jackson and his teammates in the Black Sox Scandal, who were accused of intentionally losing the 1919 World Series.

Rose continued to deny all of the accusations against him and refused to appear at a hearing with Giamatti on the matter. He filed a lawsuit alleging that the Commissioner had prejudged the case and could not provide a fair hearing. A Cincinnati judge issued a temporary restraining order to delay the hearing, but Giamatti fought to have the case moved to Federal Court. The Commissioner prevailed in that effort, after which he and Rose entered settlement negotiations.

On August 24, 1989, Rose voluntarily accepted a permanent place on baseball’s ineligible list. Rose accepted that there was a factual reason for the ban; in return, Major League Baseball agreed to make no formal finding with regard to the gambling allegations. According to baseball's rules, Rose could reapply for reinstatement. Rose, with a 412-373 record, was replaced as Reds manager by Tommy Helms. Rose began therapy with a psychiatrist for treatment of a gambling addiction.


1989 Cincinnati Reds
Pitchers CatchersInfielders OutfieldersOther batters ManagerCoaches

Player stats


Note: G = Games played; AB = At Bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting Average; HR = Home Runs; RBI = Runs Batted In
Player G AB H Avg. HR RBI

Other batters

Player G AB H Avg. HR RBI

Starting pitchers

Player G IP W L ERA SO
Danny Jackson 20 116 6 11 5.60 70

Other pitchers

Player G IP W L ERA

Relief pitchers

Farm system


  2. Rick Mahler Statistics -
  3. Manny Trillo Statistics -
  5. Ken Griffey Statistics -
  7. Tim Leary Statistics -
  8. - John M. Dowd
  10. Johnson, Lloyd, and Wolff, Miles, ed., The Encyclopedia of Minor League Baseball, 3rd edition. Durham, N.C.: Baseball America, 2007

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