February 14, 2013 12:51 PM by Smash
UPI – Pete Rose — Major League Baseball’s all-time Hit King — has had his name omitted from the 2013 lineup of Topps baseball cards. Topps owns exclusive rights to produce MLB-licensed trading cards, and representatives called the elimination of Rose’s name a “simple decision.”
On the back of each baseball card for the 2013 season, Topps is printing a “Career Chase” blurb showing how far each player is from certain milestones and records in hits, runs, or strikeouts. For example, on the back of Paul Konerko’s card it says that his 422 career homers are 340 shy of Barry Bonds’ record 762. Yet on the back of Starlin Castro’s card, Chicago Side Sports shows in scanned photos, it says that his 529 hits are 3,727 shy of the record. But the card doesn’t mention who owns the record, the way it does with all the others.
This is one of those things I can’t wrap my head around. In an era where a large percentage of players have taken PEDs or some sort of concoction to gain an age at the plate (or on the mound) Pete Rose is still looked down on for his actions. He is hands down of of the best hitters to play the game. Was he putting the integrity of the game on the line? Sure. But he is still the all time hits leader and those hits should not be removed from baseball cards. They might as well not have that dumb feature on cards anyway. Just throw up their stats like the old days.
Everyone is so record crazed these days that that in itself questions the integrity of sports. For example, Adrian Peterson’s attempt at breaking the single season rushing record. Everyone is so worried about if he will get it that that is all everyone is focused on. The Vikings didn’t fall victim to trying to break a record just to break it, but many teams will. They’ll focus on one athlete and try to help him break it, taking all focus away from playing as a team and winning the game.
I’m in the “Pete Rose should be in Cooperstown” club. What he did was wrong but his impact on the game and his talent should be respected and enshrined. Ray Lewis killed a guy and he just won his second Super Bowl and will be in the Hall of Fame. I think they can make room for Pete.