Pete Rose: Disappointed, Yet Understands Phillies’ Decision to Cancel Wall of Fame Induction


The Philadelphia Phillies Wall of Fame prior to the induction and unveiling of Pat Gillick and the late Roy Halladay’s plaques on Saturday, August 4, 2018, at Citizens Bank Park (Matt Rappa/

By Matt Rappa, Sports Talk Philly editor

Over one year has passed since the Philadelphia Phillies cancelled Major League Baseball all-time hits leader Pete Rose‘s induction onto the club’s Wall of Fame — as part of Alumni Weekend — amid recently-surfacing statutory rape allegations.


Rose, joining SportsRadio 94 WIP’s Howard Eskin on the latest edition of his podcast, said he was “disappointed” of the Phillies’ decision, given his relationship with the Philly fans.  “I wanted to be there. I wanted to be on the Wall of Fame. That’s an honor to be on the Wall of Fame. I understand the Phillies’ position,” he said. “I’m happy I played five years in Philadelphia.”

This Friday will mark 29 years since then-commissioner A. Bartlett Giamatti banned Rose from baseball for life for gambling behind a 225-page report, witness testimony and supporting evidence.

“I did nothing to alter the statistics in baseball. I played the game the way you would want it to be played. I always understood that the people are in the stands, and you can’t cheat the people,” Rose said. “You got to bust your ass and play hard. I love Philadelphia because Philadelphia fans are this. They want you to do two things: to play hard and they want you to win.”

Rose added that it is “kind of amazing” that people can “react to a situation that supposedly happened 43 years ago.” “Is anybody safe from anything?” he said. “The way we live today, nothing is sacred. You could have done something supposedly 60 years ago today, and they’ll get you.”

As part of his Wall of Fame, Saturday-evening induction cancellation, the Phillies also decided to not distribute the Pete Rose bobble figurine the prior night.  Fans were offered the opportunity to exchange their tickets to any remaining 2017 game or receive a refund.

Over the past few years, Rose has participated in celebratory events with the Cincinnati Reds despite his ban, such as when the club retired his number, and later unveiled his statue.

“I’m happy where I am in my life ,” Rose told Eskin. “I’ve got my number retired in Cincinnati. I’ve made the Reds Hall of Fame. I got a statue outside the ballpark.” Rose said that if Major League Baseball would every change its mind, he would be “the happiest guy in the world.”

“I’m not going to pray every night before I go to bed that I make the Hall of Fame. I know what the Hall of Fame stands for,” he said. “When you make the mistake, you can’t complain about it. It just seems like baseball is unwilling to give me a second chance, where everyone else it seems like, whether they do this or do that … they get second chances.”

Rose said despite his lingering ban, he remains the league’s biggest “supporter” and “ambassador.”

“For four-and-a-half hours a day, I sit [in Las Vegas] and sign autographs, and talk to kids, dads and talk positive about the game of baseball. I don’t bad-mouth the game because of steroids, because guys don’t run balls out or because guys taking drugs,” Rose said.

“I try to talk positive about the game.”

Readers May Also Like:

Go to top button