CLEARWATER, Fla. - Pete Rose remains banned from induction in Cooperstown but he appears to be headed for a spot on Ashburn Alley.
The player credited with being the missing piece to the Phillies 1980 world title is one of 10 candidates listed on the ballot for the team's Wall of Fame. It is Rose's first association with the Phillies since he was banned from baseball in 1989 for betting on the game.
Fan voting began on Thursday on the team's website and is open until March 15. The winner will be honored on August 12 at Citizens Bank Park. The top five vote getters will then move to an "official ballot" with the honoree being chosen by a selection committee. Rose, the favorite to win, is joined by Steve Bedrosian, Larry Christenson, Jim Fregosi, Gene Garber, Placido Polanco, Ron Reed, Scott Rolen, Manny Trillo, and Rick Wise.
The Phillies had to receive permission from Major League Baseball to include Rose. He was inducted last year to the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame, which opened the door for the Phillies to honor him.
The Phillies signed Rose before the 1979 season, luring him away from the hated Reds by making him the highest paid athlete in pro sports. It was the team's first splash into modern free agency. Imagine the Phillies signing Bryce Harper - an opponent venomized but beloved when he's your own - in a few years.