Card of the Day: 1989 Topps Pete Rose

I own thousands of baseball cards. Some worthless, some worth hundreds of dollars, some I’d even consider irreplaceable. But of all the cards I have, one card in particular kept me up Friday night. And believe it or not, it was a 1989 Topps Pete Rose.

Don’t bother going to Google to see what the latest is on Rose. He’s still alive, bannished from baseball, and shunned from the Hall of Fame; all the while remaining one of the greatest the profession has ever seen. If it were up to me, Pete would be in the Hall tomorrow.

Think about this, with Rose’s gambling problem, and the steroid scandal, baseball is looking at having its all-time hits leader (Rose) and home run champion (Barry Bonds) standing on the outside of the Hall looking in. Does that make a lot of sense? Yes and no. But I’ll save that philosophical discussion for another time.

Anyhow, back to the cardboard.

What kept me up Friday was Rose’s cardboard legacy. His rookie card, a 1963 Topps quad-player card, is by far his most sought after in the hobby. (Yes, I own one.) And many of his early releases also command good prices on the market. But what was keeping me up was this question: What was Pete Rose’s last card?

Now, hobbyists might be looking at be sideways because SportKings included him — sans MLB logos — in its 2007 release. And Donruss apparently is prepared to do the same in the upcoming months. Therefore, he has not had his last card. But I’m talking his last TRUE card, one officially licensed through a major card company. And after about 20 seconds, a vision came to mind — this 1989 Topps card.

I literally own 100 copies of Randy Johnson’s 1989 Topps rookie, but for some reason I could not locate my copy of the Rose, which I know I have. That’s why there is this pathetic looking scan above. I’ll change it when I find my copy.

But I digress. Look at this image of Rose. Did Topps know Rose was about to get caught for gambling, and that this would be his last card? It looks almost as if Rose, with a scowl on his face, is tipping his cap as if he were unwillingly being forced from the game and the hobby. Interesting, aint it?

This image of Rose has been stuck in my head for nearly two decades now, yet it was not until I started thinking about Rose’s final card, that I realized how iconic, ironic, perhaps coincidental, that it really is.

For the record, Rose’s rookie is “worth” about $1,000. This 1989 Topps card is more in the 50 cent neighborhood.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: