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Phillies to induct Pete Rose on the Wall of Fame this summer

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The Phillies announced on Monday that the organization will induct Pete Rose into its Wall of Fame, found in Ashburn Alley at Citizens Bank Park. The ceremony will be held on August 12.

The Phillies have typically inducted one past member of the organization into the Wall of Fame every year. Jim Thome was last year’s inductee. Inductees have typically been former players, but managers (Gavvy Cravath, Dallas Green, Charlie Manuel), coaches (John Vukovich), and broadcasters (Harry Kalas) have also been included.

Rose, now 75, played five seasons with the Phillies between 1979-83. He was considered instrumental in the team winning its first ever championship in 1980 against the Royals, ending a 98-year drought. He also helped the Phillies return to the World Series in 1983, where they lost to the Orioles. In his five seasons in Philadelphia, Rose hit .291/.365/.361.

Rose, of course, is more well-known as a member of the Reds, with which he spent his first 16 seasons. He’s also well-known as baseball’s all-time hits leader at 4,256, but he is not in the Hall of Fame as he was ruled permanently ineligible in 1989 from having bet on baseball.

As a Phillies fan — admittedly one born after Rose’s career ended — I find his induction to be odd. He played less than one-fifth of his career with the team and, while he was considered to be one of the players most responsible for helping the Phillies win it all for the first time, the Phillies have since won another World Series, reducing the need to fetishize the first. Besides, the 1980 team has been well-recognized as is: Paul Owens (1988), Steve Carlton (1989), Mike Schmidt (1990), Larry Bowa (1991), Greg Luzinski (1988), Tug McGraw (1999), Garry Maddox (2001), Bob Boone (2005), Dallas Green (2006), and John Vukovich (2007) have all been honored on the Wall of Fame. Comparatively, only a handful of members of the well-loved 1993 Phillies team — which lost the World Series in heartbreaking fashion to the Blue Jays — have been honored: Darren Daulton (2010), John Kruk (2011), and Curt Schilling (2013).

With Jimmy Rollins on his way out of baseball, this would have been the perfect time for recognizing the impact he had on the organization since making his major league debut in 2000. He won the 2007 NL MVP Award, helped the Phillies win it all in 2008, and helped them nearly win it again the next year. Only two members of the 2008 team have been recognized thus far: Charlie Manuel (2014) and Pat Burrell (2015) — though that’s mostly because many members of that team are still active. Brad Lidge, who went 48-for-48 in save opportunities in 2008 (including the regular season and playoffs), is also a great candidate for the Wall of Fame.

Ultimately, it’s a business decision and the Phillies likely felt that the ignominious Rose would draw more eyeballs than anybody else that they could feasibly honor this summer. And they’re probably not wrong. Those who idolized Rose during his playing days are in the age bracket that consumes the most baseball.

Reds to unveil Pete Rose statue at Great American Ball Park next season

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The Reds announced in a press release earlier this week that the club will unveil a Pete Rose statue at Great American Ball Park on June 17 next year. Rose will be the fourth player with a statue at GABP, joining Johnny Bench, Joe Morgan, and Tony Perez.

Reds COO Phil Castellini said, “The statue of Pete Rose will be the finishing touch on the celebration of Pete here at Great American Ball Park. We had the honor of inducting him into the Reds Hall of Fame and retiring his number in 2016, and I know Pete is looking forward to his statue joining his Big Red Machine teammates on Crosley Terrace.”

Rose, 75, is baseball’s all-time leader in hits with 4,256. He helped the Reds win the World Series in 1975 and ’76, overall helping them reach the postseason five times in a span of seven years between 1970-76.

Rose has been working as an analyst for FOX for the past two years.

Video: Anthony Rizzo, David Ross reenact the famous Pete Rose/Bob Boone play

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In the 1980 World Series between the Royals and Phillies, Phillies first baseman Pete Rose and Bob Boone famously teamed up to catch a foul ball in the top of the ninth inning. Closer Tug McGraw found himself in a jam, having loaded the bases with one out on a walk followed by two singles. Frank White hit a pop-up near the first base dugout. The ball popped in and out of catcher Boone’s glove, but first baseman Rose alertly grabbed the ball with his glove before it hit the ground for the second out of the inning. From there, McGraw would memorably strike out Willie Wilson to clinch the World Series for the Phillies.

Coincidentally, a similar play happened in Game 5 of the World Series between the Indians and Cubs on Sunday night. Carlos Santana was batting with the bases empty and one out in the top of the second inning against Cubs starter Jon Lester. He fouled off a 93 MPH fastball to the right side, sending catcher David Ross and first baseman Anthony Rizzo towards each other near the first base dugout. The wind took the ball back towards the field. Ross leaned and attempted to make the catch, but like Boone, the ball popped out of his mitt. Thankfully, Rizzo was there to make the save to secure the out.

Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on your disposition), there was no astroturf on which Rizzo could’ve playfully bounced the ball after making the catch.

The Cubs were able to escape Game 5 with a 3-2 victory over the Indians to send the World Series back to Cleveland.