Pete Rose, shown before giving a speech in 2011, is not mentioned on the back… (David Kohl / Associated…)
Pete Rose is one of the most polarizing figures in baseball. Just the mention of his name can spark a huge debate on whether or not baseball's all-time hits leader deserves his lifetime ban from the sport for allegedly betting on games.
Topps baseball cards has joined the debate -- without even mentioning Rose's name. In fact, the company has joined the debate by not mentioning his name.
Rob Harris of the Chicagoside website wrote that Rose -- and apparently only Rose -- is left out of a new feature on the back of the 2013 cards. On the back of each card, there's a line labeled "Career Chase," indicating how close -- or far -- that player is from some MLB milestone. It also indicates which player holds that particular record.
But apparently there's an exception. Harris mentions two examples -- the cards of the Chicago Cubs' Starlin Castro and the Chicago White Sox's A.J. Pierzynski -- in which the all-time record of 4,256 career hits is listed with no mention of Rose's name as the guy who set that record.
Topps spokesman Clay Luraschi told Harris it was a "simple decision" to leave Rose's name off the back of the cards but did not elaborate. When pressed, Luraschi just repeated that it was "plain and simple."
He does have a point. Topps owns the exclusive rights to produce MLB-licensed trading cards -- and anyone on the permanently ineligible list is not allowed to be included on any of the league's licensed products.
Now, whether or not that is a fair policy or if it should include something as minor as including Rose's name next to a record he earned is up for debate.
Then again, what concerning Rose isn't?
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