For 24 years, he has been dead to Major League Baseball. Gambling on the game built Pete Rose’s prison and there’s no parole in sight. He has grudgingly accepted the fact that he’ll never manage or work in the big leagues again. Removing his name from baseball cards, however, is something he doesn’t understand.
Rose can’t appear on MLB licensed products because of his lifetime ban and last week, an uproar ensued when the mainstream media got ahold of a blog post questioning why Topps’ cards don’t even mention that he holds the all-time hit record of 4,256.
MLB and Topps seem to have a pact on that and on Tuesday, Rose released a statement to USA Today questioning why his ban has to include a complete disappearance from something as benign as a trading card.
“I am not asking for anyone to feel sorry for me. I am asking only that Topps/MLB not compound my punishment by deleting the truth of what I achieved,” Rose stated. “Please believe me, I have suffered very much for what I did, but I need to respond when what I did fair and square in baseball is taken away from me too. That is neither fair nor honest.”
Read more of Jon Saraceno’s story in USA Today.