updated 12/25/1989 AT 01:00 AM EST
•originally published 12/25/1989 AT 01:00 AM EST
So it was, but so, Peter Edward Rose fervently hopes, it may not always be. Although Rose's honor-above-all nemesis, Baseball Commissioner A. Bartlett Giamatti—whose death one week after the case was settled added immeasurably to the drama's tragic resonance—had produced a 225-page report in which nine people said that the former Cincinnati Reds manager bet on baseball, the accused claims that most of the evidence against him comes from former associates with various axes to grind. In his resignation agreement, Rose, 48, neither admitted nor denied guilt, and he retained the right to appeal his untouchable status after one year. The man with the most hits in baseball (4,256) seems to understand that his only chance of ever reaching the Hall of Fame is to make amends to game and country for mucking about with national mythology. After months of public denial, he now admits to "a serious gambling problem" and has been seeing a psychiatrist twice a week. "This is a tough fight for me," he says, "but I've always adjusted to battles."