PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Pete Rose dismissed questions Sunday about his first appearance on the field in Philadelphia since the Phillies scrapped 2017 plans to honor him because of a woman’s claim that she had a sexual relationship with the King of the Phillies. baseball hits when he was a minor.
“It was 55 years ago, baby,” Rose told a baseball writer for The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Rose, 81, declined to answer any further questions in the dugout moments after an outfield team photo meant to celebrate the Phillies’ 1980 World Series-winning team and other former players. The original 1980 anniversary celebration was postponed for two seasons due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Rose made his first on-field appearance for Philadelphia since receiving a lifetime ban from Major League Baseball in August 1989. He agreed to the ban after an MLB investigation by attorney John Dowd discovered that Rose made numerous bets on the Cincinnati Reds to win. 1985-87 while playing and managing the team.
The Phillies, however, planned to honor Rose in 2017 for his contributions to the 1980 World Series champions and 1983 National League pennant winners.
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 alleged that Rose met her at places outside of Ohio to have sex.
Rose’s attorney had said the woman’s claims are unverified.
Rose acknowledged in 2017 that she did have a relationship with the woman, but said it started when she was 16. She also said that she never had sex outside of Ohio.
At the time, Rose was in his 30s and married with two children.
The Phillies were going to induct Rose into their Wall of Fame at an on-field ceremony. That ceremony was canceled and there were no other plans to celebrate Rose until this season. She was scheduled to be featured on the field before Sunday’s game along with many former teammates from the 1980 World Series champion team.
Last month, the Phillies defended the decision to invite Rose to participate in the ceremony.
“In planning the 1980 reunion, we consulted with Pete’s teammates about his inclusion,” the Phillies said in a statement. “Everyone wants Pete to be a part of the festivities as there would be no trophy in 1980 without him. Additionally, the club received permission from the Commissioner’s Office to invite Pete as a member of the championship team.”
Rose, a 17-time All-Star, had 826 of his 4,256 hits during the five years he played for the Phillies from 1979 to 1983.
Rose has asked MLB to end his lifetime ban.