Topps baseball cards has omitted the name of Pete Rose, baseball's all-time hit king, from its baseball cards, even when referencing how many hits a current player is from Rose's record.
As Rob Harris, of "ChicagoSideSports," discovered, Rose's name is omitted from the stat line on the back of the baseball card that notes how many hits a current player is away from reaching Rose's milestone of 4,256.
Rose was banned permanently from baseball for betting on games while he managed the Reds, but he did not wager on games while he was a player with the Cincinnati Reds. Topps, though, includes people like Barry Bonds, whose home run record many believe should have an asterisk by it because of allegations that he used performance-enhancing drugs to break the home run record, when referencing baseball's home run record on the back of its 2013 baseball cards.
For instance, on Paul Konerko's card, "the Career Chase" line on the back of the card indicates that his "422 career home runs are 340 shy of Barry Bonds’ career record of 762."
But on Starlin Castro's card, it says he is "3,727 hits away from the all-time record of 4,256." But Topps does not mention Rose's name. On A.J. Pierzynski’s card, Topps says he is "2,611 hits away from the all-time record of 4256."
Clay Luraschi, a spokesman for Topps, told ChicagoSideSports that the omission was “a simple decision,” and it was "plain and simple" that Rose's name should not appear on the cards.
As Harris notes, though, to many baseball fans, the decision is not "plain and simple" at all:
But there’s nothing plain and simple about it all — not for fans and card collectors like me. When I was a kid, baseball cards were at the heart of my love for the game. I learned much of what I knew about baseball by reading the backs of cards. The cards measured success and failure. They taught history. If studied long and hard enough, they revealed secrets. A collection of Topps cards, to me, was like an encyclopedia. You could trust it.