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August 10, 2022 3 min read

Pete Rose returned to the field in Philadelphia for Phillies Alumni Weekend and what a debacle. In case we needed to be reminded that the hit king doesn’t give a damn who he offends, his return to Philly did the trick. In fact, Pete’s brash and outlandish attitude is precisely why a lot of baseball fans still have great affection for “Charlie Hustle”.

The 17-time All-Star with 4,256 hits, was handed a lifetime ban from the game of baseball back in 1989. A well-known gambler, Rose repeatedly bet on the Reds team he was managing at the time, something he didn’t admit until 2007. "I bet on my team to win every night because I love my team, I believe in my team.” Since his admission, he has shown no shame. He will sometimes even sign autographs that say, “I’m sorry I bet on baseball.” So, it’s really important to understand this about Pete Rose. He does not care.

Rose’s return to celebrate the 1980 Phillies team that won the World Championship was much anticipated by Phillies fans who don’t much care about anything other than the part he played in helping the team win the title. As PA announcer Dan Baker began the introduction to the 1980 starting line-up, the crowd began to stir. The booing started first, but the second Rose’s name was announced and he started to stroll across the field, the cheers drowned out the boos and Rose was given a rousing ovation.

The celebration was short lived as Rose’s checkered past soon came back to bite him. Rose was met by a reporter as he was walking off the field and she asked him about statutory rape allegations that were brought forth in 2017. Rose’s response, he wasn’t addressing her question and “That was 55 years ago, Babe.” Is he a scumbag if the allegations are true that he once had sex with a minor? Of course. But what you have to understand about Pete is, he wears his labels like a badge of honor. He even admitted to having sex with the woman, who he claimed was 16 at the time, which is the age of consent in the state of Ohio. This was while he was in his 30s and married with kids. Scumbag, yes, but he does not care. 

Rose then joined the broadcasters in the booth during the game and proceeded to once again prove how little he cares what others think!! He used profanity throughout the appearance and the others in the booth were noticeably uncomfortable. NBC Sports edited out his segment in the replay of the broadcast, for good reason. Again, this did nothing to further harm the man who long ago accepted his lot in life. He does not care.

I think it’s a safe bet (no pun intended) to say that Pete Rose will not go into the Hall of Fame while he’s alive. I happen to think he’ll get in posthumously, but maybe not. He no doubt deserves to be there on merit. His character will be what would keep him out. Love him or hate him, and there are plenty on both sides, Rose is 81 years old. I suspect he thinks a lot like my 83 year old father who says he doesn’t buy green bananas anymore since he doesn’t know if he’ll be around tomorrow. Just always remember this about Pete Rose… whether you love him or hate him, HE DOES NOT CARE, which is exactly why some fans love him more than ever.