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September 14, 2012

Wezen-Ball

They Had a Bad Year

by Larry Granillo

Pete Rose had a tough year in 1989. After a months-long investigation that came to the public's eye with an April cover story in Sports Illustrated, the Hit King "voluntarily accepted a permanent place on baseball's ineligible list" on August 24. Rose was, in effect, accepting a punishment for gambling without actually admitting to anything specific. For a player who everyone seemed to agree was as much of a cinch for the Hall of Fame as anybody who had ever played the game, the investigation and subsequent ban was a life-changing and distressing event.

But Rose wasn't the only celebrity to have a tough year in 1989. In fact, he wasn't even the only Ohio-based celebrity to have a difficult 1989. Ever since the summer before, when he was caught making an explicit film with an underage girl at the 1988 Democratic National Convention, Brat-packer Rob Lowe had found life a bit more difficult than before (and not even a saxophone solo could change that!).

It's a good thing, then, that the two down-on-their-luck stars were able to meet for dinner one night in Cincinnati.

Lowe was back in his hometown this week to help his father...celebrate his 50th birthday Tuesday night.

Lowe also had dinner in Cincinnati with Rose, whom professional baseball banned for life after he admitted to gambling illegally on sports.

"Pete's always been kind to me, great to me," Lowe said at his father's birthday party. "We both have had rough years. But friends are friends and I need friends."

As uber-optimist Chris Traeger might say, the news of that dinner between Rob Lowe and his friend Pete Rose 23 years ago this week is literally the greatest thing I have ever heard. Literally.

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