CINCINNATI — The Reds formally retired Pete Rose’s No. 14 on Sunday, capping a big weekend for baseball’s hits king that was a success for the franchise in every way except on the field.

Big crowds filled Great American Ball Park for the three days of celebration, which had to be approved by Major League Baseball because of Rose’s lifetime ban for betting on his team. The last-place Reds have played in front of small crowds for much of the season.

They stretched the celebration into an entire weekend, honoring their 1976 World Series championship team on Friday night and adding him to their Hall of Fame on Saturday. They saved the number retirement for the final day of a series against the San Diego Padres.

“It solidifies what I’ve been saying for many, many, many years and will continue to say it: Cincinnati is the baseball capital of the world,” Rose told the crowd,

The Reds added Rose’s No. 14 to their display of retired numbers behind home plate.

The only glaring absence was Hall of Fame second baseman Joe Morgan, who couldn’t attend the celebration because of health problems. Although Morgan has kept his condition private, Rose said on a Fox broadcast that Morgan is awaiting a bone marrow transplant. He told reporters that he talks to Morgan often.

“He’s doing good,” Rose said. “He sounded real strong. I hate to talk to him now because when he starts talking for a couple minutes, he starts crying, ‘I want to be there.'”

Rose was the 20th Reds player to wear No. 14, getting it as a rookie in 1963.

The only other Red to since wear No. 14 was Rose’s son, Pete Jr., who was called up in 1997 to spark interest at the end of an 86-loss season. The father-son team is practically a set of bookmarks on the all-time hits list – Rose at the top with 4,256, and Pete Jr. with two hits in 11 games.

Pete Jr. threw a ceremonial pitch to his father, who urged fans to keep supporting the last-place team..

“And who knows? It won’t be long before (owner Bob Castellini) is here again recognizing a guy who’s in the dugout for tonight’s game.”