SBD/February 14, 2013/Marketing and Sponsorship

Topps Omits Rose's Name From '13 Cards, Drawing Attention To MLB Policy

Topps' Product Development Dir called the omission of Rose a "simple decision"
Former MLBer Pete Rose, who is banned from baseball for betting on games, has "had his name wiped from the back” of this year’s Topps baseball cards, according to Rob Harris of CHICAGOSIDESPORTS.com. Topps Product Development Dir Clay Luraschi “called the omission of Rose ‘a simple decision’ but declined to elaborate.” When pressed, he “repeated that it was ‘plain and simple’ that Rose’s name should not appear on cards.” Harris noted on the back of each card there is “a little line labeled ‘Career Chase.’” Whether the player is a “living legend or a rookie, there is a sentence indicating how close that player is to reaching one of the game’s big records.” For example, Cubs SS Starlin Castro has 529 hits, "which is -- as Career Chase points out -- a mere 3,727 away from the all-time record of 4,256." Topps' card for Castro “doesn’t say who holds the record.” Every other record “has a name attached, but not where the hits record is concerned” (CHICAGOSIDESPORTS.com, 2/13). MLB VP/Business PR Matt Bourne said, “Since (Rose) is banned from Major League Baseball, we don’t include him on any officially licensed products. This is not a new policy.” USA TODAY’s Scott Boeck notes Rose’s “likeness hasn’t appeared on a Topps card nor has he been referenced on the back of one since 1989.” But it is “how Career Chase is presented that makes it noticeable” (USA TODAY, 2/14). YAHOO SPORTS’ David Brown wrote if "none of the record holders were named on any of the cards,” then nobody "would have noticed” Rose’s omission. Topps “wants to keep its license with MLB, and that’s obviously understandable.” But it “might be taking Rose’s ban a little far” (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 2/13).
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