30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Pete and Re-Pete

When I went to visit my dad two weekends ago, we laughed about how my mother had the memory of an elephant... especially when it came to not so positive events.  She might have been the most compassionate, generous, and caring person within our family... but if you did her wrong, she'd never forget it.  And forgiveness was not necessarily a given.

Back in the day... I was similar to Mama Fuji.  I've changed a lot since I've become a teacher.  I've learned that people are constantly making mistakes and if you're unable to forgive them... well it leads to built up feelings of contempt and disdainLife is way too short to live with those kind of feelings.

That's why I've chosen to let go of the majority of grudges I've held over the years.  Pete Rose is a perfect example.

Like most baseball fans, I was disappointed and upset when I heard he made the decision to bet on baseball.  But honestly... his decision to lie about it made it ten times worse.  But time has a way of galvanizing forgiveness.  These days the fact that he has to live with his decisions is punishment enough for me.

That's why I have no problem with spending my hard earned money on cardboard bearing his name.  A few weeks ago, this card popped up on my search for 1986 Topps autographs:

1986 Topps #1

Over the past few years, I've been slowly picking up signed 1986 Topps baseball cards.  For some reason, I find a nice signature in black Sharpie lends something special to this card's design.

I saw a signed copy of this card awhile back, but didn't grab it when I had the chance.  Since then a few more have popped up in the $30 range.  I was pretty happy to snag this card with a $15 bid and $3 shipping.  It's hard to believe that you can own an autograph of MLB's All-Time Hit King for less than the price of a blaster.  The again... maybe people aren't quite as forgiving as I am.

Three days later, I saw this card on eBay:

1969 Topps #424

Normally, I'd be content with adding one Pete Rose signature every few years to my collection, but the 1969 Topps Sporting News All-Stars subset is gorgeous and this card called out to me.  It was a little more pricey than the other copy ($28 + $3.50 shipping), but personally... I feel it was worth every cent.

You might not see another Pete Rose post on this blog anytime soon, so I'll leave you with one more card of him:

1982 Fleer #640

This is the card that inspired the title of this post.  Whenever I flip through my 80's binder and see this card, I always wonder if Pete's decision ever affected his relationship with his son.  If it did, I hope his son is a little more like me than my mom, because I'm pretty sure Mama Fuji would still be holding a grudge against Pete.

What about you?

Have you forgiven Pete?  Do you collect his cardboard?

That's it for today.  Happy Tuesday and sayonara!


  1. I'm totally cool with Pete. I don't collect him, but I do have a TTM autograph.

  2. Absolutely, never held it against him (the betting ON his team), not the lying. And yes, I have a Petey PC. I may not have been so forgiving had he been throwing games the other way.

  3. I'm a bit conflicted. He obviously had a serious gambling problem and it was clearly a violation of a long standing rule. On the other hand his historic accomplishments on the field are not under suspicion. I have a couple of autographed first day covers as well as a bunch of his cards including an unauthenticated nm rookie card. I unfortunately have a problem with holding grudges.

  4. Wow, those were some great deals, I had no idea autographed cards of his were obtainable at such reasonable prices, especially that 69 one. I bought a 1984 Reds Team autographed ball with his sig on the sweet spot a few years ago, I think it was about 70$ or so.

    I don't really have strong opinions either way on Rose. I'm resigned to the fact that most players have some flaws that would make me really dislike them if I knew them in person, so I just ignore that and focus on their playing.

    The same goes for PED guys like Bonds. I think he and the other guys were basically cheating, but I don't really feel too strongly about it either way.

    I think they all belong in Cooperstown, though I don't mind them waiting a few extra years (or decades in Rose's case) as a kind of "being a jerk penalty", but they ultimately do belong in.

  5. Pete was before my time (I'm a child of the 90s) so ohs playing career and terrible decision came long before I was around, and I care very little about it. Do I collect him? No. I do think it's pretty cool that he signs so often.

  6. Rose is a whore, always has been. He will sign anything with whatever inscription you ask...for a buck. I saw one of his "I'm sorry for killing JFK" baseballs not long ago on a dealer's table. But honestly I don't really care about him one way or another.

    I only collect the cards of his that I need for my vintage sets.

    And finally...I'd have liked your Mom.

  7. I can't really say that forgiveness is something I can give, because I personally haven't been wronged by his actions. He did a bad thing, got caught, and was punished. End of story. His punishment fit the crime, and although I believe he should be in the Hall Of Fame, I don't think he should be elected during his lifetime so he can directly profit from it. (That being said, MLB needs to lift the "after-lifetime ban" on Shoeless Joe...)

  8. I do have a Pete Rose PC that I'm not too active about building, but if I end up with a card of his I need, I'll keep it. I think I'm over his whole gambling situation. If anything makes me uncomfortable, it's the allegations of relations with minors back in the day. Yuck.

  9. It can be tough to separate Rose the baseball player from Rose the person outside of baseball. But back when he was playing (before the scandals were known) I can understand why so many fans loved the guy for the way he played the game. It must have been great to watch him game in and game out.

  10. I use to collect Pete. Heck, I had over 600 different cards of the guy which isn't any easy feat since he played before Panini and Topps started producing hundreds of sets each year. However, I decided to sell my Rose collection because I just couldn't keep up with the low print cards Panini was putting out each year. That and the fact that it seems like every autographed cards that's released by Panini or Leaf is a stickergraph. There are a few cards of his that I might chase down again (the Leaf Q cards are amazing since they're on card) but if I decide to delve back in to him as a player collector I think I'll stick with cards produced during his career in MLB. I've forgiven Pete. As Sean stated, everyone has flaws and that's how I see Rose. He lied to hide an addiction that is to this day shunned upon by baseball so that he would have his shot at the Hall. I think he deserves the opportunity to be enshrined at Cooperstown for his accomplishments on the field not necessarily for his character off the diamond. Hell, just look at Ty Cobb.

  11. For me, I tend to hold on to things for very long periods of time. It's something that I need to get better at...
    For a while, I didn't actively collect Rose per se, but I wouldn't turn anything down of his. He was at a celebrity softball game, and couldn't be nicer, signing tons of autographs. I managed to get one. Now that time has gone by and other things have surfaced for me, I see that Commishbob is right on the money. Rose was getting paid to be at the game, so he put on a show for the fans.
    At one point, there was a repack or something with a Pete Rose game-used bat card in it, and I got it, because he was the all-time hit king, and it was a game-used card. I really couldn't care less about it now, and it you want me to put it in your next trade package, it's yours.
    The reason my feelings have changed have more to do with things that have surface more recently. I don't really have any problem with the gambling. That's his business, and doesn't really hurt anyone besides himself. What got me is the accusations that he committed statutory with girls that he had ran down at spring training. That, and some stories that I heard from a former teammate who played for the Reds in 1985 and 1986 were enough to make me decide to stop looking for Rose cards. If I get any out of packs, I'll probably keep them or use as trade bait, but I think I'll be ok without the autograph (which I sold about 6 years ago) and the game-used bat card.
    For those of you who collect him, that's cool.

  12. Rose doesn't seem like the greatest human being sometimes, but I've always thought he should be in the HOF. I've only recently started collecting him, and I'm glad I did because he has some fantastic baseball cards.

  13. Good message, Fuji. I need to hear this sometimes.

  14. I'm fine with Pete. Always have been. Always have felt he should be in the Hall of Fame. It felt like a 1950s McCarthyism Communist with-hunt, in some ways. I'm a fan.

  15. the lost collector - i wonder if pete charges for ttm's. there's a few more cards i'd love to get signed.

    johnnys trading spot - the lying was the main issue i had against pete. had he bet against his own team... the betting thing would have been a much bigger issue.

    hackenbush - lol. you and my mom would have gotten along.

    sean - i totally agree with you on the whole hof thing. as long as rose gets in eventually (even posthumously) i'll be happy.

    alex markle - i've always wondered how many signatures he signs a week. he charges a lot of money, so i wonder if there are tons of people who actually pay for his signature in vegas. then again... they are getting a chance to meet the mlb all-time hit leader

    commishbob - lol . i think my mom would have liked you.

    zman40 - thanks!

    matt - you make a good point about the forgiveness thing. and i agree 100% on shoeless joe

    defgav - there were allegations of him with minors? that's not cool.

    gregory - yeah... he had a reputation of giving it his all. that's how i was raised to play the game

    reds card collector - pete also has a leaf on-card signature for their wrestling product. it's pretty cool too. yeah... when guys talk about banning ped guys from baseball, i always think about ty cobb and his character flaws

    jeremya1um - today was the first time i had heard about him and minors. that's definitely not cool. i don't see myself starting a pc of him, but i do enjoy picking up affordable autographs, vintage, and memorabilia cards of his. it's not like i turn a blind eye to his screwups... i just tend to focus on athlete's accomplishments on the field rather than off. it's the same reason i own an oj simpson autograph.

    nick - yeah, some of his vintage cards are fantastic

    adam kaningher - lol. i didn't mean to push it on people. i assure you i was only speaking for myself.

    peter k steinberg - sounds like a lot of us are okay with seeing him in cooperstown (well... at least eventually).