1974 Topps #300 Pete Rose
1985 Fleer #550 Pete Rose
1974 Pete Rose. 1985 Pete Rose. What's changed? Well, Rose was a player-manager in '85, after being an outfielder in '74.
Except for that, not much has changed for Rose between these two issues. He's sill with the Reds (back where he started after stints with the Phillies and Expos). But most of all, he's still trying to bunt his way on base, showing that he's still the "Charlie Hustle" of 1974.
I recently decided to start up a small collection of Rose. The 1974 Topps issue was one of the first cards I added to my collection, and it's still my favorite. (I found it for $1 at the flea market!) Off the field and after his career was over, Rose wasn't the most pleasant person, obviously. But as strictly a baseball player, Pete Rose personified how the game was meant to be played, and that's why I decided to collect him.
I've often wondered if Fleer used that snapshot on purpose as a tribute to Rose's 1974 Topps issue. I had to do a double-take when I first saw the '85 Fleer card. (I found it in a dime box, of course.)
It looked like the same "Charlie Hustle" from eleven years earlier. And in many ways, it was.