Phillies hit king Pete Rose dismisses questions about sexual misconduct: ‘It was 55 years ago baby’

PHILADELPHIA– Pete Rose on Sunday dismissed questions about his first appearance on the field in Philadelphia since the franchise scrapped plans to honor him in 2017 because a woman claimed she had a sexual relationship with baseball’s hit king, when she was a minor.

“That was 55 years ago, baby,” Rose told a baseball writer for The Philadelphia Inquirer.

However, Rose had no trouble remembering the 1980 World Series champion’s Phillies team — it was 42 years ago, Pete — honored ahead of Sunday’s game.

After initially being slightly booed, Rose, 81, received a standing ovation from Phillies fans – many weren’t even born or too young to remember baseball’s hit king in his prime – as he took the field at Citizens Bank Park for the first time since he was banned from life by Major League Baseball in August 1989.

“You made me feel really good today,” Rose said of the celebration. “I don’t want to say I expected it. I think I expected it from Philly fans. They’re like that. They love their sports heroes.”

Rose’s already tarnished reputation took another blow in 2017 when the Phillies canceled a proposed induction on the team’s Wall of Fame over sexual misconduct allegations against him. Rose gruffly responded to the reporter’s question before the game — and later apologized to her after Sunday’s ceremony, after initially saying, “Will you forgive me if I sign 1,000 baseballs for you?” — and left after the pregame -Celebrate just as combatively with the theme.

“I’ll tell you again: I’m here for the Philly fans, I’m here for my teammates, OK,” Rose said. “I’m here for the Philly organization and who cares what happened 50 years ago.”

The woman, identified as Jane Doe in 2017, said Rose called her in 1973 when she was 14 or 15 and they began a sexual relationship in Cincinnati that lasted several years. She also claimed Rose met her for sex in locations outside of Ohio.

Rose’s attorney had said the woman’s claims were uncorroborated.

Rose admitted he had a relationship with the woman in 2017, but said it started when she was 16. He also said they never had sex outside of Ohio.

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At the time, Rose was in her mid-30s, married, and had two children.

Rose was among many former Phillies greats — including Hall of Famer Steve Carlton and fellow World Series champions Bob Boone, Greg Luzinski and Larry Bowa — honored for the 1980 team. Mike Schmidt sent a videotaped message and missed the Alumni Day celebrations because he tested positive for COVID-19.

“We’ve been doing this for a while, come back every year, and I thought having Pete involved was really special,” Boone said. “When I go to (Cooperstown), I always thought he should be there. You can write anything there, but he was the league’s top hitter. Put his name on and say he did that and got punished for whatever.”

Last month, the Phillies defended the decision to invite Rose to attend the ceremony.

“In planning the 1980 reunion, we consulted with Pete’s teammates about his admission,” the Phillies said in a statement. “Everyone wants Pete to be part of the celebrations as without him there would be no trophy in 1980. The club have also received permission from the Commissioner’s Office to invite Pete to be a member of the championship team.”

The original 1980 anniversary celebration was pushed back two seasons because of the pandemic.

Rose, a 17-time All-Star, scored 826 of his 4,256 hits during his five years playing for the Phillies from 1979-1983. There are no immediate plans for Rose to be inducted into Philadelphia’s Wall of Fame.

“Everybody wants to be on the Wall of Fame,” Rose said. “I don’t know who made that decision, but God bless them. You hit it for a reason. I’m still here today for the biggest event in a long time here in Philadelphia. I’m sitting here talking to you folks. Everything evens out. “

Rose agreed to the life ban after an investigation by attorney John Dowd for MLB found that Rose placed numerous bets on the Cincinnati Reds to win from 1985-1987 while playing for and managing the team.

Rose has asked MLB to end his lifetime ban.

“He also did some things wrong and got in trouble for it,” Boone said, “but there he is.”

Copyright © 2022 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. Phillies hit king Pete Rose dismisses questions about sexual misconduct: ‘It was 55 years ago baby’

Dais Johnston

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