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Pete Rose, accused of statutory rape, will not participate in Phillies alumni weekend

In papers filed Monday, Rose was accused of statutory rape of a 14- or 15-year-old girl in 1973.

MLB: Los Angeles Dodgers at Cincinnati Reds
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UPDATED WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 2, 12:10 p.m.

The Philadelphia Phillies have announced that Pete Rose will not be participating in Alumni Weekend August 11 and 12, in the wake of news regarding statutory rape accusations that occurred during his playing days. Rose was slated to be introduced in the team’s Wall of Fame, with a bobblehead night preceding. The Phillies released this statement Wednesday:

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 the 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 Phillies will not distribute the Pete Rose bobble figurine giveaway on Friday, August 11.  On Saturday, the Phillies will pay tribute to former Wall of Fame inductees during a pre-game ceremony.  The weekend’s events continue on Sunday with more than 40 alumni being recognized on-field.  All fans in attendance for Sunday’s game will receive a Wall of Fame card pack.

Fans holding tickets for Friday, August 11 or Saturday, August 12 can exchange their tickets for any remaining 2017 game or receive a refund at any Citizens Bank Park sales window or by mailing their tickets to The Phillies, One Citizens Bank Way, Philadelphia, PA 19148.  Exchanges or refunds must be processed by October 1, 2017.

The original post follows…

In a court filing in Philadelphia Monday, Major League Baseball legend Pete Rose was accused of statutory rape of a teenager. Rose has admitted to what he called an affair, which reportedly took place in the 1970s when he was a member of the Cincinnati Reds, before he came to play for the Phillies. Rose claims the girl was 16 at the time, which is the legal age of consent in the state of Ohio. According to reports Monday, this via the New York Daily News, the accuser claims she was 14 or 15.

Disgraced all-time hits leader Pete Rose had a sexual relationship with a girl in the 1970s when she was just 14 or 15, court papers alleged Monday.

Shocking new details of the alleged relationship came in a defamation lawsuit filed by Rose against a lawyer whose investigation into “Charlie Hustle” resulted in him being kicked out of Major League Baseball for gambling.

This came out because Rose is suing someone else, a man named John Dowd, who was accused of defamation after claiming in a 2015 radio interview that Rose committed statutory rape of young teen girls while a player during spring training. In Florida, the age of consent is 18, with a provision that a 16 or 17 year-old is consenting with someone ages 16-23. Rose made his MLB debut in 1963 at age 22, and by 1970, he was 29 years old. In 1973, the year the woman said the affair took place, Rose turned 32 years old nine days into the start of that season.

So, in trying to clear his name, Rose sued a guy, leading to a woman claiming Rose had sex with her in Ohio when she was too young to consent, according to papers filed in Philly.

And while the offense allegedly occurred during his time with the Reds, the story hits close to home because the Phillies are scheduled to honor Rose with a spot on their Wall of Fame this August 12, with a Pete Rose Bobble figurine being given away Aug. 11.

The Phillies have yet to respond to an email asking if they are postponing the night and/or rescinding the honor, but it’s a question that will need to be addressed soon, for logistics if nothing else.

In April, Rose said he was honored for the Phillies to immortalize him with past greats. “My baseball years in Philadelphia were amazing,” Rose said in a statement, via CSNPhilly, “not just because we won it all in 1980 and came close in 1983, but also because the fans welcomed me from day one. The team’s great ownership and talented roster attracted me to Philadelphia as a free agent. I knew we could experience great success.”

Rose has obviously been no stranger to off-the-field issues in his life. His checkered past with gambling on the sport has kept him out of the Baseball Hall of Fame his entire post-playing career. On talent and merit, Rose deserves to be in the Hall, but he has done nothing but tarnish the game and his own legacy for decades. This, if proven true, goes well beyond questions regarding his lack of integrity of in game. This, even 45 years later, is too much to come back from.

Rose played five seasons in Philly, from 1979 through 1983, but his legacy as a ballplayer here is almost second-to-none. His hard-nosed style of play endeared himself to fans, so much that many of them continue to look past his transgressions without pause, excited to honor the type of player he was. But after this? Still?

The Fanatic midday sports talk show asked fans if the Phillies should still go ahead with the honor and, remarkably, 43 percent of the first 1,200 votes have said yes. That speaks to how Rose is revered in this city. Even after something like this comes out. But really, the fans don’t matter. Sports talk radio doesn’t matter. Hand-wringing columns like this don’t matter.

The only vote that matters is the Phillies. Expect word soon on what they’ll do.