CINCINNATI - Pete Rose has not had his own baseball card since he was banned from baseball in 1989: Any player on the banned list is not allowed to show up in any licensed MLB memorabilia.
But the records he achieved remain safe in the annals of MLB history, at least they did until baseball card maker Topps came out with their 2013 collection of cards.
Author Rob Harris of Chicagoside noticed that Topps has been omitting Rose's name from association with the all-time record for hits in a career.
On the back of each card, wedged between each player's personal information and his complete stats, there's a line labeled "Career Chase" that shows how close that player is to reaching one of the game's big records.
Harris noticed that on the cards where it would normally say something like " Paul Konerko's 422 career home runs are 340 shy of Barry Bonds' record of 762," it doesn't mention Rose as the record holder for career hits.
On A.J. Pierzynski's card, it says this: " With 1,645 hits, Pierzynski is 2,611 away from the all-time record of 4,256."
Notice the lack of mention as to whom the record holder is. This would be a casual oversight were it not for the fact that it is standard for Topps to mention who holds the record they're writing about on every other card about every other record in baseball. Harris said he checked Chicago Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro's card and found the same: No mention of who holds that all-time hits record.
And upon checking more cards, Barry Bonds is always listed as the home run record holder, despite his link to PEDs (although it must be noted he has not technically been punished by the MLB as Rose was).
This apparently isn't the first time Rose has been omitted by Topps either. Twitter user @nightowlcards dug up a Cincinnati Reds all-time record card from 2010.
On the card there is no mention of the stats that Rose leads in (hits, doubles, runs, walks, and at-bats). This isn't necessarily proof that they have omitted him consistently in the past, but it sure is curious to leave the all-time hits leader off his own team's records list.
Harris got a comment from Topps about the omission, but it didn't explain much.
Clay Luraschi, a spokesman for Topps, told Harris the omission of Rose was "a simple decision" but declined to elaborate. When Harris pressed Luraschi, he repeated that it was "plain and simple" that Rose's name should not appear on cards.
Hear that Cincinnati? It's plain and simple...
Have you noticed Rose missing from a Topps baseball card? Let us know in the comments section below.
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