Sunday, December 11, 2011

A snapshot in time

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.


MrMopar said...

Pete had some great cards in the 70s and 80s. I always loved the action shots as opposed to plain stock portraits. His run from 74-79 is my favorite. 1979 Topps is one of the best cards of Rose ever and that set is underrated for the many great action shots (John, Fisk, Koosman, Palmer, etc).

Nick said...

'79 Topps is a very underrated set. I always see '78 Topps ranked ahead of '79 in rankings of 1970s Topps cards, and I haven't a clue why. I actually do have the '79 Rose card (also a flea market pickup), it's definitely my favorite Rose card aside from the two featured in this post.