Sunday, November 17, 2019

1981 Topps Pete Rose

The front: As someone who started following baseball in the wake of Rose’s hit record, the first big baseball record to be set after the start of the baseball card craze, I think of every Rose Topps base card as a classic. This one is no exception, with Rose chatting at the batting cage in a Mizuno jacket. Not sure of the location – Shea Stadium?

The back: Rose was one of the longest-tenured players in the game. Topps had to shrink the type to get all the stats to fit.

The player: Rose’s list of accomplishments is legendary, and too much to list here. He is the all-time hits leader (4,256), the 1963 NL Rookie of the Year, the 1973 NL MVP, a three-time World Champion, a 17-time All-Star. He led the NL in hits seven times, runs four times, doubles five times, batting average three times, and on-base percentage twice.

The man: Unfortunately, Rose’s list of disgraces is as legendary, and lengthy, as his list of baseball accomplishments. First and foremost is his lifetime ban for gambling on baseball, enacted in 1989. A year earlier, he had been suspended for 30 games for pushing umpire Dave Pallone, a record suspension for a manager. In 1991 her served time in prison for filing false income tax returns.

My collection: I have 53 of his cards, from 1966 to 1987. I would be interested in trading for 1963 Topps #537 (wishful thinking!), 1964 Topps #125, 1965 Topps #207, 1970 Topps #580, 1971 Topps #100 and 1972 Topps #559.


  1. It's taken a couple of decades, but I've started collecting Rose again. As I get older in age, I've grown to let things go and focus more on the positive.

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