Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Starting a Player Collection

For the past few years I've been mulling over the idea of starting a player collection. I dabbled with the idea of starting a Barry Larkin PC, but decided against that since there seems to be a lot of collectors out there (Nachos Grande) and I didn't want to compete with them. I then started to contemplate putting together a Joey Votto PC since he's currently my favorite player on the Reds. That too was dismissed for the simple fact that I don't want to chase the hundreds of parallel cards that Topps puts out every year. That would be too much work and this is a hobby, not a job. So, I've finally decided on a player to pursue and it's brought me full circle in this hobby. I'm going to go after the very first player who's cardboard I chased when I was busting wax packs of Topps back in 1986...Pete Rose.

I know there are a lot of you out there that hate Pete with a passion, and I respect your opinion. I, on the other hand, have a different opinion when it comes to Charlie Hustle. I look at the man and his accomplishments and admire his accomplishments on the field. He didn't blast tape measure home runs nor did he steal an insane amount of bases. He was a ballplayer who did what was asked of him to help his team and not himself. Playing five different positions on the diamond is not something you see everyday. Pete played with a passion that you don't really see in players today. From his head first slides to his all-star game collision with Ray Fosse, Rose was a man that played the game with heart. Do I agree with everything Pete has done during his life, of course not. I was devastated when he was banned from baseball in 1989 and I was disappointed when he confessed that he bet on baseball when he managed the Reds.

While we like to place our favorite players on a pedestal, we never expect to see them fall from that lofty perch. Most of the time when they fall, they fall pretty far. Will my opinions of Pete change your view towards him, probably not. I will say, however, that Pete will always be my favorite player, flaws and all, because he reminds me of one thing...he's human. We all make mistakes, even baseball's "Hit King". But I'm not going to let those mistakes change my perception of a man who enjoyed playing the game. A man who once said "I'd walk through hell in a gasoline suit to play baseball".


  1. Awesome. The day we start judging others on who they collect is the day I'll probably wrap up my collection and reflect the positive memories of collecting cardboard. Best of luck on your Pete Rose PC.