My Pete Rose Autograph

January 18, 2009 at 4:21 pm | Posted in My Cards, Topps | 7 Comments

So it all started with this post on Wax Heaven about an eBay auction for 10 sets of Pete Rose cards that were produced by Topps in 1985, with an autographed card included in each set.  The post inspired Chris from the Project ’62 blog to buy the 10 sets and sell them to people who were interested.  Well, I was one of those people and my set arrived in the mail on Friday.  You can read Chris’ post about the cards here.

As Chris mentioned, the autograph was obtained by The Score Board, a company in New Jersey that was a big name in the autographed memorabilia business in the 1990s, and also owned the “Classic” card brand.  Many collectors remember the company because of their CEO, Kenny Goldin, who frequently called in to the Sports Collectibles show on the Shop At Home network with the immortal Don West in the late 1990s.  The Score Board apparently acquired a quantity of these sets and had the first card in each set autographed by Rose.  I can easily envision Don West screaming at the top of his lungs about how great these cards and the Rose autograph were, with Kenny Goldin on the phone telling people that it was such a good deal that they should buy 10 and put them away somewhere.  I’ll bet that’s what the guy who sold these cards to Chris did…

Here is my autographed card with the certificate of authenticity from The Score Board:



And here’s a few other cards from the 120-card set that I particularly enjoyed.  Here’s Rose getting his record-breaking 4,192nd hit on September 11, 1985:


Next up is a great photo of Rose going full speed around third base, demonstrating the hustle and hard-nosed playing style that I really admire about him:


Here’s Pete Rose with his son Pete Rose, Jr. from his days with the Phillies:


Pete Rose, Jr. played in the minor leagues from 1989 – 1998 and 2000 – 2002.  In between, he played in an independent league, and he’s been active in independent leagues between 2002 and today.  He also played in 11 games for the Cincinnati Reds in 1997, and he pleaded guilty to distributing GBL, a steroid alternative, in 2005.  But I’ll always remember him most for the classic “Pete & Re-Pete” card from 1982 Fleer.  I found this image on eBay:


And finally, here’s a great painting of Pete Rose during his 95-game stint with the Montreal Expos in 1984.  I like this card because you don’t get to see cards of Rose with the Expos very often:


It’s great to have an autograph of Pete Rose in my collection, along with the other 119 cards.  Thanks to Chris for setting this up!

I actually had an opportunity to get an autograph of Pete Rose in person in Las Vegas in April 2007.  My wife and I were walking through “The Forum Shops” next to Caesar’s Palace when we saw a sports card and memorabilia store.  I did a double take when I saw Pete Rose sitting at a table at the front of the store signing autographs – or at least he would have been signing autographs for people if he wasn’t charging an exorbitant amount of money.  I don’t remember exactly how much he was charging, but it was over $100.  Since I had just bought an expensive dress for my wife, she told me that it would be OK for me to buy an autograph from Rose, but I decided not to.  While it would have been fun, I didn’t want to pay over $100 to a guy who gambled on baseball games, damaging the integrity of the game, while he was managing the Reds.  Although I consider myself a fan of Rose as a player, I definitely believe that his banishment from baseball and his exclusion from the Hall of Fame is deserved.  Anyway, here’s a photo that I took of Pete Rose on that day in Las Vegas:


If I’m remembering correctly, you could even pay extra money to have Rose sign “I’m sorry I bet on baseball” next to his autograph.  It’s definitely appropriate that Pete Rose was in Las Vegas, of all places, doing this signing.


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  1. Pete’s there all the time. That’s his job pretty much.

  2. i received my set from chris on friday… the autograph is sweet. however, about 15 of the 120 cards were miscut (luckily card #1 wasn’t) and centering seemed to be a major problem. in my opinion… for $28… this was a steal.

  3. I received mine this weekend too. They are awesome.

    Pete is always at Caesar’s Forum Shops. I think his contract is like 180 days a year there. I’ve seen him several times and done an autographcast with him there. To me at least, he’s always been cool, willing to talk to you, and answer any questions you have.

  4. Hey Dave! I was actually there at the same time as you for the signing. I went on a mini vacation there last April. I won a little money from poker the previous night and everyone convinced me to just pony up the money and meet him so I did. Despite what he did, he’s one of the most historical players in baseball and I didn’t want to pass that chance up.

  5. Hey Dave…funny – I remember The Score Board well. Their office on Cuthbert Blvd is just a quarter mile from my current company’s headquarters. I lived about 5 miles from there in NJ and Goldin is my age. What an empire he built in a short period of time. Also, NFL Films is on the same street.

  6. My set arrived on Friday as well. I bought these so my son could see Pete the baseball player and not Pete the “rule breaker” as he calls him. Haven’t had a chance to show them to him just yet but even at six he understands the life lesson: you can do everything right for the longest time and one bad decision or action erases all or most of it in an instant.

  7. Pete Rose is my favorite Baseball player.

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