NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – We all know Pete Rose is banned from baseball.
Apparently that came with a banishment from Topps baseball cards.
On the back of each player’s 2013 card is a “Career Chase,” which shows how far the ballplayer is behind an all-time leader in a particular stat.
Well, Chicago Side Sports noticed that most all-time record holders were all named. Make that all but one — Rose, baseball’s hit king with 4,256.
Rose earned a lifetime ban from then-commissioner Bart Giamatti in 1989 as manager of the Cincinnati Reds for betting on baseball, a charge Rose denied until 2004.
Chicago Side Sports showed scans of two cards to hammer the point home.
Mets reliever Bobby Parnell’s career chase stated, “With 249 games pitched, Parnell is 1,003 away from Jesse Orosco’s all-time record of 1,252.” For Texas Rangers catcher A. J. Pierzynski: “With 1,645 hits, Pierzynski is 2,611 away from the all-time record of 4,256.”
See the difference? So why did Topps decide to omit Rose’s name?
According to Chicago Side Sports, which has a partnership with the Chicago Sun-Times, “Clay Luraschi, a spokesman for Topps, called the omission of Rose ‘a simple decision’ but declined to elaborate. When pressed, he repeated that it was ‘plain and simple’ that Rose’s name should not appear on cards.”
Rose, who can’t be elected to the Hall of Fame, maintains he never bet against his own team, and many baseball fans would say the punishment doesn’t fit the crime. Then again, there are plenty who agree with the decision to keep him out.
“I’m going to tell you something right now, whether you believe it or not,” Rose told WFAN’s Steve Somers in October. “Baseball is a better game if I’m in it. OK? Because I care about the game and I’m a teacher of the game. And I care about young players.”
Later that month, Rose told sportswriter Joe Posnanski that 38-year-old Yankees captain Derek Jeter, with 3,304 career hits, would probably never break his record.
“I’d say Jeter will probably end up in batting average about where I was. We’re about the same — me, Derek, Hank, Willie,” Rose told Posnanski. “We were all hitting about .311 or .312 or .313 when we got into our late 30s, maybe Willie was a little lower, and we all ended up around .303 or .305. Jeter will probably end up where I did, right around there. So if his average is around the same as mine, he has to get about as many at-bats as I did. I got 14,053 at-bats. What’s he got? Ten thousand? Eleven thousand? He’s a great hitter. How’s he going to get 3,500 more at-bats?
“I think time’s running out.”
Bad job by Topps? Sound off in the comments!