Pete Rose's name has been eliminated from 2013 baseball cards (Photo : Reuters)
Baseball cards are more than just pictures. They're preservations of players' legacies. They mark their accomplishments, capture players at their best and worst, and serve as timeless reminders of what once was. Now, Major League Baseball's best hitter ever, has been omitted from the 2013 lineup of Topps baseball cards.
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Pete Rose is the all-time Major League leader in hits with 4,256, a mark deserving of recognition on baseball cards. Yet Topps, which owns exclusive rights to produce MLB-licensed trading cards, said eliminated Rose was "plain and simple," according to iSports Times.
Rose is no longer an active player. He retired in 1986 after playing for 23 years. But that doesn't mean his name doesn't deserve a spot on baseball cards for his achievements. On the back of each card for the 2013 season, Topps is printing a "Career Chase" indicator, showing how far a given player is from breaking certain records.
For example, on the back of Jonathan Papelbon's card it says he's 351 saves shy of the record, but on cards that mention a player's chase of the all-time hits record, Rose's name is no where to be found. The back of the card states how far the given player is from reaching the record, but does not list Rose as the current record holder.
The decision is based on Rose's past actions while playing with the Cincinnati Reds. Rose gambled on his own team as a player and a manager and was banned from baseball. His Hall of Fame status was revoked and he is not allowed to play, coach, or manage.
Some fans believe that his elimination from Topps baseball cards is a bit unfair. There are other controversial players whose names still appear by their records. For example, Barry Bonds and Mark McGuire, who both hold homeruns records, are still listed on the back of Topps cards despite their alleged steroid use.
Neither McGuire nor Bonds have been booted from the Hall of Fame, but the treatment of Rose still seems unbalanced compared to other MLB "villains." Does Rose's punishment seem fair?