Wednesday, April 14, 2021

stop and smell the rose

i discovered a year or so ago that i was missing a card from my final tribute binder.  this 1987 classic green pete rose card
was an add-on to a sportlots order last year. i hadn't realized that this card existed until i was searching a particular seller's inventory to fill out an order and maximize the value of shipping costs as any good sportlots buyer does.
a bit of unintended trolling there on the back with the first question.  this card has the career stat totals on the back. there is a rose card in the 1987 classic yellow travel set that says "records not available" on the stat line which is very strange. i don't plan to add that card to my collection.

i also found this 2014 panini prizm card 
of the hit king.  it now sits in my dodger stadium collection, as the field level scoreboard is visible behind rose - you can see the first two letters of "reds" which is the giveaway.

i suppose that this post is as good as any  to show the pete rose cards that represent him in "my favorite non-dodger of the year" mini collection. rose was one of my early favorites when i began following baseball in 1978. once the angels faltered in the early goings of 1980, i switched my non-dodger allegiance from don baylor to rose.  here's the card that represents my non-dodger fandom from 1980:
of all the stats, i paid the most attention to hits back then. this was because it was the category that steve garvey was usually at or near the top in from season to season. the fact that rose had 10 years with 200 hits was impressive to me (garvey, at that time, had only five), and, with this 1980 topps highlights card, rose's streak of appearing on a topps record breaker/highlight card reached three years running.

representing 1981 is this card:
ok, so with this 1981 topps record breaker card the streak is up to four years in a row. however, i was thinking that this was a bit of a stretch for a record breaker, as at bats weren't a sexy stat to me. the other record breakers in the set included most home runs by a catcher in a career (johnny bench), most strikeouts in a career by a lefthander (steve carlton), most strikeouts in a game by a rookie (bill gullickson), most stolen bases by teammates in a season (ron leflore and rodney scott), most home runs in a season by a third baseman (mike schmidt), most assists by a shortstop in a season (ozzie smith), and most at bats in a season (willie wilson). two record breaker cards about at bats? 10 year old gcrl was not impressed, except this card was of favorite non-dodger pete rose, and it had a lurking mike schmidt in the background. good enough.

1982 would turn out to be the last season in which rose was my favorite non-dodger as steve garvey became a padre in 1983. here's the rose card in my mini collection to mark his final season in that role:
yes, five straight years with a topps record breaker/highlight card for rose. this one is legit, as it notes that he became the national league's all-time hits leader in 1981.

anyway, happy 80th birthday to the hit king. yes, pete rose is 80. time waits for no man.