‘Hit King’ Pete Rose continues to disappoint Phillies fans and MLB.
To conclude Alumni Weekend, the Philadelphia Phillies are saluting their franchise’s first-ever championship team — which 42 years ago defeated the Kansas City Royals in six games to become 1980 World Series champions.
Among the 1980 World Series winners in attendance on Sunday includes Major League Baseball “Hit King” Pete Rose. The Phillies got clearance for Rose to attend and make his first appearance on the field in Philadelphia since his lifetime ban from the league in 1989.
The Phillies planned to honor Rose five years ago by adding him to their prestigious Wall of Fame, however, his induction ceremony was canceled amid controversy over allegations that he had a relationship with a minor in the 1970s.
The Phillies destroyed 35,000 bobbleheads with Rose’s likeness that they planned to distribute that weekend. Essentially all “channels” were quiet between the organization and the 17-time All-Star until Larry Bowa revealed on the Phillies telecast last month that Rose would be invited back with him and the rest of the 1980 World Series champions on August 7.
Philadelphia Inquirer reporter beat writer Alex Coffey asked Rose before the reunion ceremony what his response would be to those saying his presence “sends a negative message to women.”
Rose replied to Coffey: “No, I’m not here to talk about that. Sorry about that. It was 55 years ago babe.”
As PhillyVoice’s Kyle Neubeck points out, Rose can be honored for something that happened 42 years ago, but is not able to discuss something that happened 55 years ago.
Many on social media took offense to Rose’s remark — some even calling for the Phillies to not allow him to appear alongside his former teammates in the pre-game ceremony.
With Saturday’s addition of Bake McBride to the Wall of Fame, Rose remains the lone member of the Phillies’ 1980 Opening Day lineup not added. At this rate, there’s no guarantee if Rose ever will have his Wall of Fame induction ceremony rescheduled — not to mention if he will ever be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.