Pete Rose has been removed from Topps baseball cards as being the all-time MLB hits leader. It’s not that he doesn’t hold the record, it’s just that Topps is refusing to recognize him as having it. It’s as if Rose has become a ghost. While his stats are acknowledged, they aren’t credited to anyone.
Chicagosidesports.com’s Rob Harris reported the omission, and it’s a curious one indeed. 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.
Harris goes on to argue that the omission of Rose is absurd. Here is part of his argument:
The decision to ignore Rose is particularly questionable given the ongoing furor over performance enhancing drugs. Barry Bonds and other suspected steroid cheats have so far been denied entry to the Hall of Fame. Yet Topps has chosen to take the bloom only off of Rose. Why? Do they deem his crimes more serious? Is their standard that permanently ineligible players should be denied recognition? They’re not saying.
It’s certainly odd that players like Barry Bonds are credited with having their records and Rose is no longer credited with his. The timing of the omission is also strange. It’s not like there is any new news here. The Rose saga has been going on for a generation and all of a sudden they refuse to acknowledge him? Perhaps the folks at Topps didn’t like Charlie Hustle’s reality TV show, Hits & Mrs.
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