Baseball legend Pete Rose will headline Law Enforcement Appreciation Dinner

The annual fundraiser founded by Gene Abdallah is scheduled for Oct. 25 at the Ramkota Exhibit Hall in Sioux Falls.

Former Cincinnati Reds great Pete Rose reacts during a statue dedication ceremony prior to a game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Great American Ball Park on June 17, 2017 in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Dodgers defeated the Reds 10-2. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images/TNS)
Joe Robbins/TNS

SIOUX FALLS – One of the most famous – and infamous – baseball players of all time will headline the annual Law Enforcement Appreciation Dinner in October.

Pete Rose played 24 seasons in the major leagues and won three World Series titles overall, two while a member of the Cincinnati Reds. Nicknamed the Big Red Machine, the team was managed by Bridgewater-native Sparky Anderson and won back-to-back titles in 1975-76.

Rose had a lifetime .303 batting average and still holds the major league record for hits at 4,256 and games played at 3,562.

While managing the Reds in 1989, Rose was banned from baseball for wagering on games, including on his own team. For that reason, he has not been inducted into the baseball Hall of Fame.

This year’s Law Enforcement Appreciation Dinner is Wednesday, Oct. 25, at the Ramkota Exhibit Hall in Sioux Falls. The event is already sold out.


The late Gene Abdallah founded the dinner 42 years ago as a fundraiser for children’s charities and to honor local law enforcement.

“It is certainly rare that a charity fundraiser of this size sells out months in advance,” said Abdallah’s son, Scott, who co-chairs the event. “The demand for this event every year is a reflection of how much our community honors and respects the law enforcement officers who sacrifice to protect us all every day.”

Gene Abdallah was a U.S. Marshall and was superintendent of the South Dakota Highway Patrol. He also served six terms in the South Dakota Legislature.

He died in 2019 at age 83.

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The event has raised millions of dollars for children’s charities in the name of law enforcement. Each year at the dinner, one law enforcement officer receives the William J. Janklow Law Enforcement Officer of the Year Award.

“This will certainly be a rare opportunity for all baseball fans to meet the greatest pure hitter to

ever play the game,” Scott Abdallah said in a release announcing Rose’s appearance. “There will never be another player in our lifetime to play the game like Pete Rose.”

The formal program begins around 6:45 p.m. Governor Kristi Noem, Chief Justice Steven Jensen, Mayor Paul TenHaken, Attorney General Marty Jackley and many other dignitaries are expected to be on hand.


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