Skip to content

Topps baseball cards refuse to mention Pete Rose

Feb 13, 2013, 11:19 AM EDT


This year’s Topps baseball cards include “career chase” notes on the back that list how far players are away from various statistical records. For instance, on the back of Mets reliever Bobby Parnell‘s card it says: “With 249 games pitched, Parnell is 1,003 away from Jesse Orosco’s all-time record of 1,252.”

However, Rob Harris of noticed that all of the “career chase” notes mentioning hit totals do so without actually using Pete Rose’s name. So, for example, A.J. Pierzynski‘s card says: “With 1,645 hits, Pierzynski is 2,611 away from the all-time record of 4,256.”

That “all-time record of 4,256” belongs to Rose, of course, but apparently Topps has taken it upon themselves to whitewash him from history. Or something. When contacted by Harris company spokesperson Clay Luraschi said only that it was “a simple decision” and made “plain and simple.”

I’m guessing the “plain and simple” part has to do with Topps’ licensing agreement with MLB, which obviously wants nothing to do with Rose (and Topps wants even less to do with angering MLB). But until told otherwise I’m going to assume Topps is taking this stance in 2013, three decades after Rose retired, because they’re less offended by his connection to gambling on games and more offended by his new reality television show on TLC.

  1. johnnyb1976 - Feb 13, 2013 at 11:32 AM

    Barry Bonds is a known cheater and is on the HOF ballot. Pete can’t even get enough respect to have his name mentioned by topps. Strange world we live in.

    • stoutfiles - Feb 13, 2013 at 11:45 AM

      Whatever, Pete Rose is much more famous by not being allowed in the Hall. Pete loves the attention, and when he dies they’ll let him in.

      • threefingerclown - Feb 13, 2013 at 1:36 PM

        Right, just like Shoeless Joe Jackson. Oh, wait…

    • fredverd - Feb 13, 2013 at 1:51 PM

      I think we’re all losing sight of what is important. Can MLB extend its influence to erase completely Pete Rose’s figure crashing into Ray Fosse at the All-Star game?…maybe make it seem as though a giant wind obliterates Fosse who is blocking the plate for no apparent reason. This could be followed up by recalling all those cereal boxes with his pic…

    • fanofevilempire - Feb 13, 2013 at 5:31 PM

      do I have to erase him from our memories too ?

      • fredverd - Feb 14, 2013 at 9:59 AM

        Erase who?

    • bigharold - Feb 13, 2013 at 10:44 PM

      “Pete can’t even get enough respect to have his name mentioned by topps.”

      Lets not forget that Pete Rose is in the position he’s in because of no one but Pete Rose. He broke the cardinal rule of baseball, .. lied about it for 25 years and even when he “fessed up” about it he did it in a self serving way.

      Comparing his situation with Bonds is a specious argument, one has absolutely nothing to do with the other. And, it completely ignores the fact that Bonds NEVER admitted that he took PEDs or failed a drug test.

      I hope Rose gets in the HoF, .. especially before he dies, I grew up a big Pete Rose fan. But, Rose is responsible for his current predicament and is not worthy of sympathy.

  2. urkiddddingme - Feb 13, 2013 at 11:32 AM

    Maybe they are afraid of MLB and licensing issues? I dunno. Ask Pete, money is important.

  3. hughhansen - Feb 13, 2013 at 11:33 AM

    I’m more concerned about the decision to mention AJ Pierzynski’s distance from the all-time hit record as a notable “career chase.”

    • kirkvanhouten - Feb 13, 2013 at 11:40 AM

      ““Having been referred to as “‘ucking asshole’ 1,129 times, Pierzynski is 328 away from Ty Cobb’s all-time record of 1,457 ”

      I think that would have been much more apt.

      • kirkvanhouten - Feb 13, 2013 at 11:41 AM

        ahem “fucking asshole”.

      • noodles73 - Feb 13, 2013 at 12:12 PM

        Well played sir! Although I think Cobb’s record could be inaccurate due to the lousy scorekeeping that was done back in the early 20th century. I’ts probably closer to his career hit total.

      • stlouis1baseball - Feb 13, 2013 at 12:21 PM

        Well played Kirk. Well played.

    • DelawarePhilliesFan - Feb 13, 2013 at 11:51 AM

      Those of us of a certain age fondly recall David Lettermans countdown to when Buddy Biancalana would become the all time hit leader:

      In 1985, during the countdown to Pete Rose breaking Ty Cobb’s hits record, David Letterman instituted a Buddy Biancalana countdown calendar. Biancalana later appeared as a guest on Late Night with David Letterman, quipping “I’m closer to Cobb than you are to Carson.” Biancalana finished his big-league career with 113 base hits, over four thousand short of Cobb or Rose.

      • stlouis1baseball - Feb 13, 2013 at 12:24 PM

        Holy Shit! It’s a Buddy Biancalana sighting.
        Buddy was my “go to” anytime I wanted to offend (or otherwise crack on) one of my teammates about their batting prowess. Or lack thereof.
        I haven’t thought about him since the mid 80’s. And I very much remember the countdown on Letterman. Outstanding stuff Delaware. Thanks for the memory.

      • noodles73 - Feb 13, 2013 at 12:36 PM

        I loved it when Letterman used to make fun of Terry Forster,the old Braves reliever.

        The Biancalana countdown was awesome!

      • DelawarePhilliesFan - Feb 13, 2013 at 12:49 PM

        Oh yea…..”he is sooooo fat! Have you seen this guy?”

        And lets have a callout to the Mets farmhand Ed Hearn, who was to be immortalized in a Novel called “Ed!” It was to feature a chapter on each of his 12 hits

        Good stuff!

      • jericoc - Feb 14, 2013 at 9:43 AM

        So, I turn on TBS and the Braves bring in this reliever, Terry Forster, who is a fat tub of goo …

    • jeffbbf - Feb 13, 2013 at 2:12 PM

      Anybody remember the “Buddy Biancalana Hit Counter” on Letterman?

  4. Chris Fiorentino - Feb 13, 2013 at 11:33 AM

    Are the Home Run guys “x # of HRs from the all-time record of 762”?

  5. bobwsc - Feb 13, 2013 at 11:35 AM

    are they going to 61 / 755 homer benchmarks? not that I agree with the bogus records that stand in their place, but well…Topps can eat a crap samitch.

    • kirkvanhouten - Feb 13, 2013 at 11:42 AM

      Probably not. Since the most home runs hit in a season and career are 73 and 762 respectively.

      • bobwsc - Feb 13, 2013 at 2:45 PM

        you probably missed the point. if Topps applies the same tactic of wiping Rose from the stats sheet, why wouldn’t they strike the stats of Bonds, McGuire and Sosa – the holders of the HR records that surpass Maris and Aaron – making the latter the standard bearers, same as Cobb?

      • kirkvanhouten - Feb 13, 2013 at 2:55 PM

        “you probably missed the point. if Topps applies the same tactic of wiping Rose from the stats sheet, why wouldn’t they strike the stats of Bonds, McGuire and Sosa”

        The Cards still refer to Rose’s record, they just omit his name.

  6. unlost1 - Feb 13, 2013 at 11:43 AM

    AND he’s also never mentioned on the BSOHL list!

  7. Russell Wight - Feb 13, 2013 at 11:51 AM

    Boycott Topps!

  8. sabatimus - Feb 13, 2013 at 11:54 AM


  9. mybrunoblog - Feb 13, 2013 at 12:09 PM

    Really weird that Topps would think mentioning Roses name would make the suits at MLB marketing upset. Is MLB really that afraid of the name Pete Rose? Holy crap folks we have crossed into some sad and strange times.

  10. kjericho43 - Feb 13, 2013 at 12:13 PM

    Mr. Selig: What’s worse? Betting on the game you love (hopefully your own team) and lying about it and denying it OR sticking a needle in your ass / putting “the cream” on then obliterating baseball’s most hallowed records, ducking tests, and destroying the sanctity of the game in the process… and then lying, denying…etc


    • nothanksimdriving123 - Feb 13, 2013 at 3:02 PM

      Serious question for the floor: Has it ever been shown to be true or even suggested that Pete Rose (who I think is something of a dim bulb, btw) ever bet that his opponent would win and then went out and tried to help them win by playing or managing less than his best? If so, that to me would be a sports unforgivable sin. The rest is just Rose having a gambling compulsion for which he should have sought counseling.

  11. noodles73 - Feb 13, 2013 at 12:18 PM

    A-Rod is one short of Barry Bonds’ all-time cycle record.

  12. phillyphan93 - Feb 13, 2013 at 12:28 PM

    Thats why Upper Deck is better!!

  13. raysfan1 - Feb 13, 2013 at 12:30 PM

    Mr Selig’s primary interest is money. Based on adverse monetary impact on the sport, your question to him is an easy one. Baseball faced a very real threat to it’s perceived legitimacy after 1919 that could have costs MLB owners their fortunes. This is why Landis even banned Buck Weaver and Joe Jackson despite their pretty clearly not participating in throwing WS games. It’s also why every team has a warning posted in the clubhouse that betting on baseball will get the offending player banned for life. Meanwhile, regardless of any immorality/cheating aspect of PED use, MLB set attendance records in 1998, attendance has grown further since then, and owners are landing record TV contracts.

    To sum up–betting on baseball hurt MLB financially, PEDs (perhaps perversely) helped MLB financially. Ipso facto, Mr Selig’s reply to you is that betting on baseball is the far worse evil.

    • kjericho43 - Feb 13, 2013 at 12:55 PM

      I fully agree. But if Bud knew the shitshow that would ensue after the fact, i’m sure things would have been tightened up in the locker rooms….at least enough to as not to make a mockery of things. Betting on the game obviously is blasphemy, always has been and should be. Pete should have known better. Just sayin….a bit strange that Rose is still a pariah in the industry.

      • derklempner - Feb 13, 2013 at 2:56 PM

        “Selig at the Bat”
        A different take on Casey…

        The outlook wasn’t brilliant for the nation’s game that day:
        The fans tuned to the news, to hear what Mitchell had to say.
        Four-hundred and nine pages, sitting heavily upon his shelf,
        No longer was Selig’s only fear Donald Fehr himself.

        A vocal few long ago warned of such despair. The rest
        ignored the growing pecs adorning many a player’s chest,
        They thought, if only Selig could be in charge of this –
        We’d put up even money now, that he surely wouldn’t miss.

        But McGwire bested Maris, as did Bonds to Hammerin’ Hank,
        The former using andro, the latter resembling a tank,
        And within the many stadiums the record crowds sat,
        Now there seemed but little chance of Selig risking that.

        And all held tight to secrets, to the wonderment of all,
        And some, the much deceived, told stories of juicing the ball,
        But when the truth was revealed, and all saw what had occurred,
        There was Balco, Games of Shadows, and Canseco being heard.

        Then from the throats of Congress there rose a lusty yell,
        It rumbled through the Bronx, it rattled in Pac Bell,
        They said clean up your game or we will do it for you,
        And Selig, mighty Selig, quickly decided what to do.

        There was ease in Selig’s manner as he stepped into his place,
        There was pride in Selig’s manner, very stern was Selig’s face.
        And when, responding to reporters, he announced who he had hired,
        No stranger doubted that Mitchell would dig until he had tired.

        Over seven hundred interviews as he dug up years of dirt,
        Twenty million dollars spent, sleeves rolled up on his shirt.
        Then while the rumors bubbled like liquid from a syringe,
        Bud Selig realized – on Mitchell’s report, his legacy may hinge.

        And then the rumor-filled news came hurtling through the air,
        And Selig sat a-listening with a nervous posture there.
        They said that all-star players would be listed in this report,
        “I’m clean”, “I’m shocked”, “No comment” so many would retort.

        From the pages, black and white, there were listed eighty-eight,
        Both hitters and some hurlers who had tried to improve their fate.
        “This is a call to action,” Selig said as a matter of fact,
        No wavering to his voice, he added, “And I will act!”

        To describe Selig’s work, much too little, much too late,
        Ignoring what was right, for more revenue from the gate.
        And now the Commish holds the ball, and what will he decide?
        Asterisks? Suspensions? Blame others to save pride?

        Oh, somewhere in this baseball land there’s a place for the best,
        Where heroes are enshrined and separated from the rest.
        But Bud’s conflicted tenure leaves him where within this game?
        Row 1, Seat 1, Section HGH – in baseball’s Hall of Shame.

  14. realgone2 - Feb 13, 2013 at 12:51 PM

    Rose has received the Chris Benoit treatment.

  15. billymc75 - Feb 13, 2013 at 12:55 PM

    guess I won’t be buying any topps

  16. giantssb42champs - Feb 13, 2013 at 1:04 PM

    Why not spin off a “Topp-less” series for Pete cards?

  17. bat42boy - Feb 13, 2013 at 1:19 PM

    If that is Topps stance on Pete Rose then no one should ever buy there baseball cards. He’s the record holder in hits and should be in the Hall of Fame no matter what King Selig says, who know’s nothing about baseball history.

  18. ralphross373 - Feb 13, 2013 at 1:26 PM

    Pete Rose screwed up with the gambling, but he is the all time hits leader and deserves a chance to be voted into the HOF. I think a win-win would be for MLB to ask Rose to give some sort of strong community service maybe on how to avoid gambling addiction and if he is sincere, he should be allowed on the HOF ballot. I have always felt that since Giamatti died while Rose’s ban was fresh, any subsequent commisioners have never wanted to find a way to get a win-win because they don’t want to besmirch Giamatti’s memory. But I think something could be done if Rose is willing to step up and fall on his sword so to speak as well as the community service work.

  19. captaincanoe - Feb 13, 2013 at 2:00 PM

    What stupid stats. Either computer generated or compiled by some with absolutely no knowledge of the game.

  20. bricktop02 - Feb 13, 2013 at 3:59 PM

    That’s why your cards suck!!!

  21. fredverd - Feb 13, 2013 at 4:23 PM

    For derklempner,
    I bow to you, and…
    The other Casey, the old professor, would have added, “…and you could look it up!”

  22. hornbuckle - Feb 13, 2013 at 6:15 PM

    What a farce.

  23. 11thstreetmafia - Feb 13, 2013 at 6:39 PM

    4256 hits will never be broken. EVER. The guy might be a dbag, but he could hit. There is no rule that says that you have to be a nice guy to be a ballplayer.

  24. drakost - Feb 13, 2013 at 8:20 PM

    Wait… Topps still makes cards?

  25. Minoring In Baseball - Feb 14, 2013 at 3:09 AM

    It’s pretty ‘bush league’. Give the guy credit for what he did on the baseball field, because there wasn’t too many that did it any better. I don’t think he’s too worried about the HoF, as it doesn’t have the credibility it once did anyway. As stated before, he’s much more famous for being left out of it.

Leave Comment

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. B. Crawford (2791)
  2. C. Correa (2513)
  3. Y. Puig (2478)
  4. G. Stanton (2426)
  5. G. Springer (2349)
  1. H. Pence (2269)
  2. J. Hamilton (2165)
  3. M. Teixeira (1950)
  4. H. Ramirez (1928)
  5. J. Fernandez (1899)