Card of the Day: 1985 Topps Pete Rose autograph

1985toppspeteroseautographGotta give a shout out to two people for making the acquisition of this card possible. First to Mario at Wax Heaven, who brought attention to a lot of 10 Pete Rose sets for sale on eBay, which a bunch of bloggers decided to split. And secondly to Chris G. from Project ’62, who bit the bullet and bought the lot to distribute to those expressing interest. Thanks to you both.

Now, about the card …

While there are indeed lots of collectors with more disposable income than others breaking current Donruss, Sport Kings and even Razor Brand products hoping to pull a Pete Rose autograph, among other things, there are cheaper ways to obtain a signed card of the all-time hit king, one being through his “official” 1985 Topps set.

First off, lets get something out of the way. Pete Rose autographs are VERY common and pretty inexpensive. If you wanted one, you could snag a PSA certified one for less than $20 in some cases. I think that’s a solid buy for a guy whose place in baseball history was cemented with his all-time hits record. It’s also a great buy considering he’s a guy whose place in the history of sports in general was carved out when he was banned from baseball indefinitely for gambling on the team for which he coached.

While there are numerous signed Rose items out there, this card is hands down the one to own. It was the first “certified” issue, and features Rose in a Major League uniform with real logos that were not blurred out due to his banishment from MLB in 1989 for gambling.

What’s unclear to me is exactly how these became known as the first “certified” copies. My current copy of Beckett Almanac shows the card but does not list a price, and the book does not offer any information about this particular autograph. From what I can tell based on the set I received, these Rose cards were not originally signed. Instead, Topps produced the 120-card set and it was distributed through Renata Galasso, Inc.. From there it appears Ken Goldin from Scoreboard Inc. got his hands on the sets and his company had Pete Rose sign the first card in the set, probably some time in the early 90s.

Considering Rose’s historical significance in the game — good or bad — these Rose autos seem like such a good deal. Considering that there are thousands of collectors willing to pay upwards of $30 for a sticker ‘graph of any current major star, getting one of these early Rose on-card autographs for less than that is simply amazing.

2 Responses to “Card of the Day: 1985 Topps Pete Rose autograph”

  1. I agree – I’m very pleased with my Pete Rose set too!

  2. Jeff Davis Says:

    I just ran across this set in my dads collection. Do you know what it is worth? I have the 120 cards plus the one that is autographed. There is a little note that says inside authentic pete rose autographed baseball card. Contact me at if you have any info.

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