Pete Rose returned to the Philadelphia Phillies to much fanfare on Sunday as he was a part of the organization’s celebration of the 1980 World Series team.
Rose marched out onto the field at Citizens Bank Ballpark to a loud ovation with fans chanting “Pete!”
The 81-year-old all-time leader in hits was an All-Star the year the Phillies won the World Series. The team was 91-71 behind a loaded lineup consisting of Rose, Manny Trillo, Mike Schmidt, Larry Bowa, Bob Boone, Greg Luzinski, Garry Maddox and Bake McBride. Steve Carlton and Dick Ruthven were the leaders on the pitching staff and closer Tug McGraw had a 1.46 ERA in 57 appearances.
Rose said he was happy to be back.
“They made me feel real good today,” he said. “I don’t want to say I expected it. I guess I did expect it from Philly fans. That’s the way they are. They love their sports heroes.”
Rose was set to be a part of the Phillies’ Wall of Fame in 2017 when allegations of sexual misconduct surfaced. He was asked about the allegations and got into a heated exchange with reporters.
There were no immediate plans to put him into the Wall of Fame.
“Anybody would like to be on the Wall of Fame,” Rose said. “I don’t know who made that decision, but God bless them. They made it for a reason. I’m still here today for the biggest event in a long time here in Philadelphia. I’m sitting right here talking to you guys. Everything evens out.”
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He was back in Philly for the first time since he received a lifetime ban for betting on baseball.
Rose agreed to a lifetime ban after an investigation for MLB by lawyer John Dowd found that Rose placed numerous bets on the Reds to win from 1985-1987 while playing for and managing the team. He has since asked MLB to end his ban.
He played five years for the Phillies, recording 826 of his 4,256 with the organization. He was also a four-time All-Star with the club before left the team for the Montreal Expos.
The Phillies defended bringing Rose out for the ceremony last month. The 81-year-old was inducted into the Cincinnati Reds’ Hall of Fame in 2016 and was at Great American Ballpark for the ceremony.
“In planning the 1980 reunion, we consulted with Pete’s teammates about his inclusion,” the Phillies said last month. “Everyone wants Pete to be part of the festivities since there would be no trophy in 1980 without him. In addition, the club received permission from the Commissioner’s Office to invite Pete as a member of the championship team.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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