Pete Rose was dismissive Sunday when asked about an accusation that he had sex with a lady under 16 within the Seventies.
Rose, who was attending a celebration in Philadelphia for the 1980 World-Series-winning Phillies team, told a female reporter for The Philadelphia Inquirer: “No, I’m not here to discuss that. Sorry about that. It was 55 years ago, babe.”
Asked later by one other reporter, he said: “I’m going to inform you another time. I’m here for the Philly fans. I’m here for my teammates. I’m here for the Phillies organization. And who cares what happened 50 years ago? You weren’t even born. So that you shouldn’t be talking about it, since you weren’t born.”
Rose was given a lifetime ban from baseball in 1989 for betting on games, but was given special permission by the commissioner’s office to seem on the Phillies event. He has been barred from consideration for the Hall of Fame because he’s on baseball’s ineligible list.
Major League Baseball and the Phillies didn’t immediately return a request for comment on Monday about Rose’s remarks.
The accusation of underage sex against Rose, 81, got here out in a 2017 defamation lawsuit he filed against John Dowd, who had led the investigation into Rose’s gambling. It stemmed from remarks Dowd made on a radio program claiming that Rose had sex with “12- to 14-year-old girls.”
In testimony from that case in 2017, an unidentified woman said she had sex with Rose when she was under 16. Rose responded that he believed she was 16, the age of consent in Ohio. Rose has not faced any charges of underage sex; the statute of limitations has expired.
Those revelations led the Phillies to cancel a scheduled appearance by Rose on the park in 2017.
This time around, Rose was met by mostly cheers on the ceremony at Residents Bank Park.
Over a protracted profession, Rose had more hits than some other player in major league history, although he benefited greatly from amassing more at-bats than some other player as well. His profession batting average ranks 179th. He had his share of doubles and walks, but slap-hit singles were his specialty.
He gained fame, and acclaim, during his profession for his over-the-top hustle, including racing to first base after a walk and sprinting, slightly than trotting, on and off the sector after every half-inning.
There may be a consensus that had Rose not been involved in betting on baseball, leading to his ban from the sport, he would have comfortably been elected to the Hall of Fame.
After an important profession with the Cincinnati Reds, he went to the Phillies as a free agent in 1979 and is given an important deal of credit for his or her 1980 World Series win, the primary of their history. That team also included third baseman Mike Schmidt, who won the N.L.’s Most Worthwhile Player Award that season, and Steve Carlton, who won that yr’s N.L. Cy Young Award.
“Pete Rose is correct about one thing he said today,” the Association for Women in Sports Media said in an announcement. “It’s been 55 years because the reported inappropriate relationships, and times have modified. It’s not acceptable to call a reporter ‘babe.’”
After the initial inquiry, Alex Coffey, the reporter whom Rose had known as “babe,” tweeted that Rose “asked if he’d offended me, and said, ‘will you forgive me if I sign 1,000 baseballs for you’ before saying “sorry.”