CINCINNATI (AP) – For the right price, Pete Rose is willing to write on a baseball that he’s sorry.

The hits king unveiled his latest marketing venture Wednesday on his Web site. For $299, plus $4.99 shipping and handling, fans can order a baseball inscribed “I’m sorry I bet on baseball” along with Rose’s autograph.

The offering came two days after an auction house confirmed that 30 baseballs inscribed the same way would be available for bid next April.

“Now you can get the baseball collectible everyone’s talking about – Pete Rose’s personal apology for betting on baseball, newly inscribed on an actual baseball – at a fantastic price,” the Web site says.

Rose’s business agent, Warren Greene, didn’t return a phone call to discuss the hit king’s change of heart.

On Monday, Greene told The Associated Press that Rose had inscribed baseballs with the apology for some of his collector friends about a year ago. Greene said that Rose never intended for the balls to be sold publicly.

One of the collectors gave 30 of the balls to a friend, Barry Halper, according to Greene. Halper, a limited partner in the New York Yankees, died last December, and his family is selling his sports memorabilia through Robert Edward Auctions. The collection includes the 30 apology baseballs.

The New York Daily News first reported the auction on Monday.

Greene later told the AP that if some of the balls were going to be made available at auction, Rose might consider signing more of them.

Field of Dreams stores also are selling the baseballs at stores nationwide. Rose also offered to inscribe “I’m sorry” on baseballs during his autograph appearances at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.

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.



On the Net:

Robert Edward Auctions: http://www.robertedwardauctions.com

Pete Rose official site: http://www.peterose.com

Field of Dreams stores: http://www.dreamscorp.com

AP-ES-09-20-06 1901EDT


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