Huffpost Sports

Pete Rose Topps Cards Omission: Baseball Card Company Omits All-Time Hit King

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PETE ROSE
Pete Rose takes part in the ceremony celebrating the 25th anniversary of his breaking the career hit record of 4,192 on September 11, 2010 at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati, Ohio. | Getty Images

Pete Rose accrued 4,256 career hits during 24 seasons in Major League Baseball. That is a fact. Every player scratching out base hits in an MLB game is chasing Rose's all-time mark.

Meanwhile, every player racking up hits to be displayed on the back of his baseball card is chasing ... nobody?

As first noted by Chicago Side Sports, Topps decided to not recognize Rose on its cards and left his name out of a special section labeled "Career Chase" on the back of 2013 cards. Career leaders in other categories, including Barry Bonds, are named but there is no player being specified when it comes to hits mark.

Topps spokesman Clay Luraschi told the blog that it was a "simple decision."

Matt Bourne, MLB's vice president of business public relations, gave Scott Boeck of USA Today Sports a more elaborate explanation.

"Since (Rose) is banned from Major League Baseball, we don't include him on any officially licensed products," Bourne said, via USA Today Sports. "This is not a new policy."

That Topps would go ahead with this design format knowing that Rose would not be named seems anything but a "simple decision."

Rose was given a lifetime ban from baseball in 1989 for gambling on games when he was the manager of the Cincinnati Reds. In 2004, he admitted for the first time that he bet on games while managing the team in 1987.

Despite never being considered for enshrinement in the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, the museum still recognizes Rose's storied career.

"In the museum you'll find 20 artifacts from Pete Rose's career because you can't talk about baseball without talking about Pete Rose," Hall Of Fame President Jeff Idelson told HuffPost Sports last month. "We mention in the exhibit with Pete specifically that he was banned from the game because that's fact."

Apparently, Topps disagrees.

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