Phillies Cancel Pete Rose Portion of Alumni Weekend
The Phillies found themselves in a very difficult situation this week Less than two weeks of their planned induction of Pete Rose to the Phillies Wall of Fame, allegations arose from a woman who said that she engaged in a sexual relationship with Rose prior to her 16th birthday, while Rose was married. Rose confirmed the relationship, but said that he felt she was 16 years of age before it began. The issue caused the Phillies to have to make a decision about next week's festivities, which will no longer include Rose.
The club released the following statement:
Due to recent events, the Phillies and Pete Rose have decided that Pete will not participate in the Phillies Alumni Weekend festivities to be held at Citizens Bank Park on August 10-13, 2017.
Rose said, "While I am truly honored that Phillies fans voted for me to be this year's Wall of Fame inductee, I am concerned that other matters will overshadow the goodwill associated with Alumni Weekend, and I agree with the decision not to participate".
The release notes a few changes:
- The Phillies will not distribute a Pete Rose bobble figurine on August 11
- Saturday, the Wall of Fame ceremony will honor former inductees, with no new inductee
- Sunday, the Phillies will give away a Wall of Fame card pack
For the game tickets, the Phillies will offer refunds for either the Friday, August 11 bobble figurine night or the Saturday, August 12 Wall of Fame night.
The allegation arose after Rose filed a defamation lawsuit against the lawyer who investigated Rose's gambling in the 1980s. The lawyer, John Dowd, made comments on multiple occasions suggesting that his investigation uncovered that Rose was involved with underage girls. After Rose sued Dowd, Dowd got testimony from a woman who testified under penalty of perjury that indeed she was involved in a sexual relationship with Rose while younger than the State of Ohio's age of consent.
Rose cannot be charged with a crime, given that Ohio's statute of limitations have long passed. But had Rose not filed this civil suit, these particular allegations might have never been brought forth.
Other names on the 2017 Wall of Fame ballot besides Rose included Scott Rolen, Steve Bedrosian, Larry Christenson, Jim Fregosi, Gene Garber, Placido Polanco, Ron Reed, Manny Trillo and Rick Wise. This may have been Rose's last chance at the honor as 2008 World Champion Phillies will begin to become eligible beginning next season. Brad Lidge, Matt Stairs and Jamie Moyer will be eligible next season from the 2008 Phillies team.