Pete Rose played on the Cincinnati Reds' 1975 World Series championship team, but he cannot participate in the Reds' 25-year remembrance of that team this season, baseball commissioner Bud Selig said.
Rose's appearance with other members of baseball's all-century team during the World Series in October 1999 raised hopes that he might be allowed to appear at Cinergy Field on June 3 with other members of the 1975 Reds team that beat the Boston Red Sox in the Series. But he cannot, Selig said Monday.
"Obviously, this is a very sensitive subject, and a very misunderstood one," Selig told The Cincinnati Enquirer. "But as things stand, there's been no change."
"I did make an exception for the all-century team because fans were voting and I didn't want to do anything to stop that. But we said it was a one-time thing," Selig said.
Rose was voted the most valuable player in Cincinnati's 1975 defeat of Boston, four games to three. He agreed to a lifetime ban from baseball in 1989 following an investigation of his gambling. He applied three years ago for reinstatement, but no decision has been made.
The Reds plan to observe the 25th anniversary of their 1975 championship on June 3, prior to a night interleague game against the Minnesota Twins.
If Rose a Cincinnati native who now lives in south Florida wants to attend, his option would be to sit in the Cinergy Field stands with other fans.
Rose was not available today at his Boca Raton, Fla., restaurant when called for a response. Warren Green, a Rose spokesman in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., did not return a call to his office.
John Allen, the Reds' chief operating officer, said he hopes that Rose's absence from the June ceremony does not overshadow the presence of the 1975 team members who do participate.
"We're going to abide by major league baseball's rules," Allen said. "I know it's a sensitive issue, and I know that there are pro-Pete Rose fans out there. In Cincinnati, there are a lot more because he's a real hometown hero."
"But we didn't suspend him, and we can't unsuspend him," Allen said.
Selig said his office had received some informal inquiries from the Reds about Rose and the June ceremony.
Rose left Cincinnati for Philadelphia after the 1978 season and helped the Phillies win the 1980 World Series. The Phillies plan to honor that team June 15-17 at Veterans Stadium.
"Sometime, we will approach the commissioner's office," Phillies spokesman Larry Shenk said. "But it's on the back burner right now. Pete wasn't permitted (to participate) in 1990 when we had the 10-year reunion. I guess he can buy a ticket."
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