MLB’s all-time hits leader Pete Rose has been invited to the Philadelphia Phillies’ 1980 World Series reunion on Sunday, August 7, the team announced. The 81-year-old is expected to be featured by the franchise for the first time since 1989, when he was banned for betting on baseball.
Alex Coffey of the Philadelphia Inquirer first reported Rose’s upcoming appearance at Citizens Bank Park. When asked for a statement on the matter, the Phillies said that “the celebration is about honoring the team, not an individual player.”
Philadelphia’s Alumni Weekend will begin on August 4 and continue during the team’s four-game series against the Washington Nationals. On Thursday, the Phillies will give out replica Mike Schmidt rings. On Saturday, franchise legends Bake McBride and Ron Reed will be inducted into the Wall of Fame.
Sunday is when Rose is expected to make his appearance during the “1980 Phillies Salute” in a pregame ceremony on the field. Rose was inducted into the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame in 2016. He was in attendance at Great American Ball Park for that ceremony.
Pete Rose’s Off-Field Problems Overshadow Contributions to Team
By the time Pete Rose signed with the Phillies in 1979, his career was already on the decline. During the 1980 campaign, he hit .282 and helped lead Philadelphia to a 91-71 record and an NL East title. The team defeated the Houston Astros in the National League Championship Series. Then beat the Kansas City Royals in the World Series for the franchise’s first-ever title.
Rose was previously supposed to be recognized at Citizens Bank Park in 2017. It was for his induction into Philadelphia’s Wall of Fame in 2017. But the Phillies canceled that appearance – and his bobblehead giveaway. It was because an anonymous woman claimed in federal court that Rose had a sexual relationship with her in 1973 when she was 14 or 15 years old. The age of consent in Ohio (Rose was playing for the Cincinnati Reds) at the time was 16.
Rose could not be charged with statutory rape only because the statute of limitations had expired. He did acknowledge having a sexual relationship with the woman, but claimed she was 16 – and of age – when it began. Between that issue and betting on baseball, it is easy to see why some folks are upset about his inclusion.