Phillies

Pete Rose is Phillies' 2017 Wall of Fame inductee

Phillies

It's not much of a surprise, but the Phillies officially announced Monday that Pete Rose will be the organization's 2017 Wall of Fame inductee.

Rose will be inducted during an on-field ceremony before the Phillies' 7:05 p.m. game against the Mets on Saturday, Aug. 12.

"I am very honored to be inducted into the Phillies Wall of Fame," Rose said in a statement. "My baseball years in Philadelphia were amazing, 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, baseball's all-time hits king, was one of the stars on the Reds' Big Red Machine, a club that won back-to-back World Series in 1975 and 1976. He came to the Phillies as a free agent before the 1979 season. He spent five years with the Phils and his leadership was key in getting a talented team over the top on its way to winning the 1980 World Series.

"He made a big difference in our lineup obviously," said Phillies bench coach Larry Bowa, a former teammate of Rose's. "It's not like we didn't have a good team before he got here but he was like the missing ingredient.

"When he came over here, he told everybody that when teams came in to play us that we were an intimidating team and a lot of people on our team didn't believe that. But he just kept saying it and saying it until we believed it."

 

Rose was placed on baseball's permanently ineligible list in 1989 after he admitted to wagering on baseball during his time as manager of the Cincinnati Reds. The ban precludes him from appearing on the ballot for the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.

Rose is still on the ineligible list, but commissioner Rob Manfred has shown some leniency in recent years and Rose has been able to participate in some ceremonies, such as his induction into the Reds' Hall of Fame last June.

"I think hindsight being 20-20, if Pete would have come out earlier and said, 'I made a mistake,' he'd probably be in the Hall of Fame," Bowa said. "He'll be the first to tell you he made a mistake at that."

Transgressions included, Phillies fans still remember Rose fondly, and Bowa thinks he'll get a very warm reception on Aug. 12.

"It'll be electric because these people loved the way he played," he said. "He didn't consider himself a superstar, he considered himself a blue-collar player that had to work for everything. 

"He played the game with reckless abandon. I saw him play through a hamstring pull. Stuff like that -- when I watch other guys go through injuries and don't get off the field -- that means a lot."