Pete Rose returned to Citizens Bank Park on Sunday for the first time since receiving a lifetime ban from MLB.
MLB's all-time hits leader participated in a ceremony honoring the Phillies' 1980 World Series win. However, not everyone perceived the invitation as a feel-good moment in light of a woman testifying that he engaged in a sexual relationship with her when she was 14.
When asked by The Philadelphia Inquirer's Alex Coffey about what he would say to women uncomfortable with his presence, Rose, who was brought back to honor a past championship, said he wasn't there to discuss the past.
"No, I’m not here to talk about that," Rose said. "Sorry about that. It was 55 years ago babe."
Coffey later added that someone informed her after the ceremony that Rose want to speak to her. Before offering an apology, Rose asked if giving her 1,000 signed baseballs would make amends for any offense he may have caused by calling her "babe."
Asked by the Associated Press about his original remarks to Coffey, Rose again declined to address the question.
"I'm going to tell you one more time. I'm here for the Philly fans," Rose said. "I'm here for my teammates. I'm here for the Phillies organization. And who cares what happened 50 years ago?"
The entire day was about celebrating a baseball outcome from 42 years ago.
"You weren't even born," Rose added. "So you shouldn't be talking about it, because you weren't born. If you don't know a damn thing about it, don't talk about it."
In a written statement submitted during MLB's investigation against him, Rose acknowledged the sexual relationship but said he thought the girl was older than 16, Ohio's age of consent.
Rose was welcomed to a warm ovation on Sunday afternoon.