The Philadelphia Phillies have welcome Pete Rose back to Citizens Bank Park for the first time since he received a lifetime ban in 1989.
Rose is scheduled to attend a celebration of the 1980 World Series champions held on Aug. 7. Per The Athletic's Matt Gelb, the Phillies issued a statement regarding Rose's participating in the ceremony.
"In planning the 1980s reunion, we consulted with Pete's teammates about his inclusion," the statement read. "Everyone wants Pete to be part of the festivities since there would be no trophy in 1980 without him. In addition, the club received permission from the Commissioner's Office to invite Pete as a member of the championship team."
It would be more than reasonable to invite Rose if the only issue was his lifetime ban for betting on baseball. With MLB and all major sports embracing gambling, that infraction isn't enough to erase the game's all-time hits leader from its history.
However, the invitation has sparked backlash for another reason. A woman told a federal court in 2017 that Rose began a sexual relationship with her when she was 14 years old. The Phillies cancelled plans to induct him into their Wall of Fame in light of the accusations.
A team spokesperson told The Philadelphia Inquirer's Alex Coffey that they've invited him to this event because they're celebrating the team rather than Rose individually.
Although elected to his 14th of 17th All-Star appearance in 1980, Rose finished the season with a .706 OPS and 0.3 WAR, per FanGraphs.