Wednesday, March 30, 2011

#3 The Pete Rose Years: 1967-1970

Card fact: This is the 2nd card of the 6 card Pete Rose subset.

Card thoughts: Pete Rose sure looks a lot tougher in these pictures. In every picture, his mouth is just a grim line. He also apparently swung a really light bat. This is kind of where the Topps design team is hitting an aesthetic brick wall. I mean, the 1969 card is just an an amalgam of '67 and '68. And I think the 1970 style is one of my least favorite designs of all times. If I had to pick a winning design out of the four, I guess I'd pick the 1967 card. I like the simplicity. They'd break out of the design cul-de-sac in the next decade--with some horrific results.

The player: Pete Rose was just a really consistent hitter at this time. He didn't have the big run producing numbers that would come later, partly because the Reds hitting around him were not the offensive juggernaut they became later in his career.

Rear guard: Rose has moved to outfield at this time. His average in 1968 was the highest in his career. Incidentally, the 1970 all-star came was where Pete Rose bowled over Ray Fosse at home plate to score the winning run, injuring his shoulder. Funny, Topps neglects to mention this play in their write-up, seeing how it cemented Rose's reputation as a hard-nosed player.

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