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Phillies nix plans to honor Pete Rose after latest controversy

Pete Rose’s latest controversy has the Phillies backtracking on plans to honor the former MVP. (AP Photo)

Two days after news broke that a sworn statement accuses Pete Rose of statutory rape in the 1970s, the shockwaves are starting to register. The Philadelphia Phillies, who were set to honor Rose with a ceremony and plaque on their Wall of Fame on Aug. 12, have canceled those plans.

Here’s the main part of the statement:

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.”


Instead of straight-up canceling the pre-game ceremony, the Phillies are opting to have Rose not participate. The ceremony has been repurposed, so instead of a speech by Rose, the fans will get a tribute to former Wall of Fame inductees.

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The Aug. 12 ceremony is just one aspect of what was essentially going to be a Pete Rose weekend at Citizens Bank Park. Rose was voted onto the Phillies Wall of Fame by the fans, so the ceremony was a lead-up to the unveiling of his new plaque. And as a warm-up to the ceremony, the giveaway for the Aug. 11 game was a Pete Rose bobblehead. As the Phillies announced, the bobbleheads will no longer be given out. And while the statement doesn’t mention anything about Rose’s Wall of Fame plaque, Meghan Montemurro of The News Journal reported that Rose’s plaque will not be added to the wall.

The accusation of statutory rape against Rose came out during the proceedings of a defamation suit that Rose himself filed against John Dowd. Dowd oversaw MLB’s investigation into Rose in the ’80s as special counsel, and Rose is suing him over a comment he made in a radio interview about Rose having sex with underage girls in the 1970s. To support Dowd’s case (and his claim), Rose’s accuser, who is going by Jane Doe, alleges in a sworn statement that she and Rose had a sexual relationship that started when she was 14 or 15. Rose admits to having a sexual relationship with Jane Doe, but he says it started in 1975 when she was 16 (the age of consent in Ohio) and he was 34.

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Liz Roscher is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email her at lizroscher@yahoo.com or follow her on twitter! Follow @lizroscher

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