Cincinnati Reds reveal Pete Rose statue at Great American Ball Park

By Alex Butler   |   June 17, 2017 at 4:56 PM

June 17 (UPI) -- Pete Rose joined the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame in 2016, but this year he got a statue at Great American Ball Park.

He was at the Reds' stadium Saturday to celebrate the honor.

Rose, 76, played 19 seasons for the Reds. His last season came in 1986. Rose was a 17-time All-Star, the 1963 National League Rookie of the Year and the 1973 National League MVP. His 4,256 career hits still stand as the most in baseball history.

On Saturday, fans filled the ballpark, and Crosley Terrace, to view Rose's new honor.

The statue joins others at the ballpark depicting franchise legends including: Joe Morgan, Tony Perez, Johnny Bench, Ernie Lombardi, Joe Nuxhall, Frank Robinson and Ted Kluszewski.

Bench, Jack Billingham, David Concepcion, Doug Flynn, George Foster, Ken Griffey, Sr., Morgan and Perez all attended the ceremony.

Rose gave a speech on the field before the Reds took on the Los Angeles Dodgers. The first 30,000 fan in attendance received a replica of the Reds Hall of Famer's statue.

"I want you guys to understand, fans make a difference," Rose said. "We as players know where you are. We can hear you. We want you to come to the ballpark. We want you to root for us. We want you to be part of a winning tradition, which you are here in Cincinnati."

A few people showed up to check out the statue. #14forever

A post shared by Cincinnati Reds (@reds) on

The .303 lifetime hitter is still banned permanently from the National Baseball Hall of Fame for betting on baseball. He accepted that ban in 1989. In December, the Hall of Fame's board of directors upheld the rule that anyone deemed permanently ineligible by Major League Baseball cannot be considered for election into the Hall of Fame, according to ESPN.

Sculptor Tom Tsuchiya made the statue, using clay and bronze. It weighs 1,130 pounds, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer. It was created by 74 total designers.

The Reds Hall of Fame had to change its bylaws to allow Rose's induction. It previously had similar rules to Cooperstown in that it didn't allow for banned players to be inducted.

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