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Over the past decade or so, professional sports leagues have welcomed an influx of betting revenue. Companies like DraftKings and FanDuel infiltrated leagues with endless advertisements, sponsorship deals, and apps that made placing a bet as easy as tapping a couple of buttons. Of course, betting is a form of gambling and can be highly addictive, another wrinkle these leagues must now contend with. Fans regularly berate players online or at games for missing certain prop bets, and lately, we’ve seen instances of leagues having to deal with their own athletes making bets.

In the NFL, Calvin Ridley received a year-long suspension two years ago for placing $1,500 in bets while he was injured. Ridley has since returned to the NFL (and even signed a massive contract), though other leagues aren’t nearly as forgiving. The NBA banned Toronto Raptors big man Jontay Porter for life for betting and manipulating game results, specifically prop bets involving the “under” on his performance.

Major League Baseball famously banned Pete Rose for life in 1989 after his betting habits came to light. Now, 35 years later, they’re doing the same with San Diego Padres infielder Tucupita Marcano.

Marcano received a lifetime ban for violating MLB’s gambling policy. Four other players will be suspended for a year.

Lauren Leigh Bacho/Getty Images

Marcano is believed to be the first player in 100 years to be banned from baseball for betting. MLB kicked Jimmy O’Connell of the New York Giants out of the league way back in 1924. Rose was a manager when he received his ban.

In March, MLB began an investigation after a tip from a legal gambling operator. The league learned Marcano had placed 387 bets totaling about $150,000 throughout 2022 and 2023. About $87,000 of that money went towards 231 MLB-related bets, including 25 Pittsburgh Pirates games. Marcano was on the Pirates’ roster for parts of both seasons, though he didn’t play in any of the games he bet on. He placed most of his wagers after he had a season-ending knee injury in July 2023.

The other four players who were suspended all placed bets on MLB games while they were in the minors. The Arizona Diamondbacks called up Andrew Saalfrank later in the year, and he pitched in the 2023 World Series. Oakland’s Michael Kelly placed a $99 bet and will now forfeit his $740,000 salary with the Athletics this season. Philadelphia’s José Rodríguez and San Diego’s Jay Groome are the other players who will miss a year of action. Groome never reached the majors, and Rodríguez scored one run in one appearance for the White Sox last season.

Despite missing all of this year with an injury, Marcano is the highest-profile player in this group. How much money will the lifetime ban cost him?

Marcano’s salary was $746,000 this year, so he will likely forfeit most (or all) of it. And he didn’t have great stats for his career. A slash line of .217/.269/.320 with 5 home runs, 34 RBI, and a wins above replacement (WAR) of -0.9 in 149 career games isn’t exactly All-Star material. But at 24 years old and with the ability to play second base, shortstop, and multiple outfield positions, Marcano could have earned a few more contracts over his career. At the very least, doubling his career earnings of $2.7 million seemed doable. We’ll never know, though—he won’t take the field in the majors ever again.

Perhaps the most devastating part of all? Marcano’s success rate with betting. He reportedly only won 4.3% of the MLB bets he placed.

Not only will Marcano miss out on future MLB earnings, but it seems he also lost a lot of money from betting. Just a rough story all around.

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