The Philadelphia Phillies have canceled two weekend events that were scheduled to honor Pete Rose amid a statutory rape allegation against Rose dating back to the 1970s.
The team announced the news in conjunction with Rose, who will no longer be part of the team’s alumni weekend programming scheduled for an August 10–13 homestand against the Mets. Rose, Major League Baseball’s all-time hit leader who played for the team from 1981–83, was due to be added to the team’s ‘Wall of Fame’ that Saturday and the Phillies planned a Rose bobblehead giveaway for Friday. Both events were called off.
“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,” Rose said in a statement issued through the team.
The Phillies are offering ticket refunds and exchanges for the August 11 and August 12 games.
The team has not ruled out placing Rose on the wall of fame in the future, according to Philly.com.
Rose was accused of having a sexual relationship with a woman in the 1970's before she turned 16, according to court documents obtained by ESPN.com. Rose, 76, said he had a sexual relationship with the woman, but believed she was 16. Rose, then a member of the Cincinnati Reds, was 34 and married with two children and says he can't remember how long the relationship lasted.
The allegation was made by an unidentified woman in a sworn statement which appeared in a motion filed Monday by the legal team of John Dowd, who is being sued by Rose for defamation. Dowd had claimed in a radio interview that Rose had underage girls brought to spring training for him during his playing days, and his report in 1989 included evidence of Rose betting on baseball, leading to his lifetime ban from the game.