Phillies fans have not forgotten about Major League Baseball’s all-time hits leader.
Come Saturday, Aug. 12, he will be inducted as the newest member to the Toyota Phillies Wall of Fame. The news was officially announced earlier this week. He was selected through fan voting conducted on phillies.com.
The four-time Phillies All-Star and member of the 1980 World Series championship team said he is honored by the news.
“My baseball years in Philadelphia were amazing, not just because we won it all in 1980 and came close in 1983, but also because the fans welcomed me from day one,” Rose, who become the 39th member of this elite group of Phillies, said. “The team’s great ownership and talented roster attracted me to Philadelphia as a free agent. I knew we could experience great success.”
The news of Rose’s induction is worthy of a brief trip down memory lane. We are talking about one of the most popular players in Phillies history. He joined the organization as a free agent in December ’78, and wore the red and white pinstripes through the ’83 season. The Phils enjoyed one of their more successful runs with Rose around. The five-year stint included two World Series appearances (’80 amd ’83), with the 1980 win over the Kansas City Royals still ranking as one of the greatest moments in Phillies history. The team also won a division championship in ’81.
His individual accolades are equally as impressive, with breaking the National League hits record on Aug. 10, 1981 topping the highlights. In ’79, he led the league in on-base percentage.(418) and singles (159).
The on-field ceremony will take before the Aug. 12 game against the New York Mets. The festivities will kick off on Aug. 11 when Rose is honored at the annual alumni luncheon taking place inside the Diamond Club.
Many special guests will return to honor the former first baseman, including past Phillies Wall of Famers. A 14-by-20-inch cast bronze plaque of Rose will be added to the display located in the Memory Lane section of Ashburn Alley.
Tickets to all Toyota Phillies Alumni Weekend events are available at phillies.com, with the Alumni Luncheon honoring Rose on sale at phillies.com/alumniluncheon.
-By Bill Gelman