Flashback Friday! The Living Legend

Back in 2012, Leaf decided to release a baseball card set based entirely on Pete Rose.  According to the pack wrapper, the set isn't authorized by any licensing body, only the depicted player (that being Pete Rose). 

By now, I'm guessing all my readers know that I'm a Reds fan but you may not know that I'm not much of a Pete Rose fan.  I was born in 1982 so I missed the "good" years of Rose. Instead, I am just old enough to have been around for Rose as a crappy player/crappy manager and Rose as (not?) betting on baseball guy.  I've seen Rose sign autographs outside Cooperstown.  I've seen Rose be defiant.  Lie.  Cheat.  And who knows what else.  Basically, I've seen Rose as who he probably is, and that's basically just not a nice dude.

But you know what?  He could hit a baseball. 

And in Cincinnati, he could hit a baseball for a team that won a pair of World Series.  That same team that other than a surprising run in 1990 has been a mostly pathetic baseball team for over 40 years now. 

And so, Reds fans mostly love Rose, or at least those that lived through the 1970s and the height of the Big Red Machine.  But younger fans don't know much about Rose and they certainly don't love him to that extent...and that's how I ended up with a small handful of packs of The Living Legend:  Pete Rose cards.  These were a throw-in to some trade (or maybe a box of random packs), I no longer remember but the point stands:  Rose isn't all that anymore, and probably never should have been from the start. 

And yet.  Here I am about to open up a pack of cards that I presume will contain only cards of Peter Edward Rose.  It's no surprise that he'd be okay with authorizing a set that was all about him!

As expected, all six cards are all about Pete Rose.  Also as expected, not a single card back referenced betting on baseball.  Instead, each card back had a brief description of what was happening in the photo on the front of the card.  It's not a lot of information, but I suppose it's done well enough.

In the end, this set is basically only relevant because each box contained a guaranteed autograph of Rose's.  The set itself is only 50 cards in size so completing it probably won't be that difficult but honestly, I don't think I'll be trying to do so (despite having another four or five packs of the stuff to open at a later time).  Sometimes, history needs to be left behind and I'm beginning to feel that way about Rose.


  1. Didn't like Rose when he was playing, especially with the Reds in the late '70s (and had to put up with the Aqua Velva commercials, too). But it was cool to pull his cards around '75-'79, that's for sure. He and Reggie were as big as they get at that time. Rose's star has been sliding ever since and this Leaf set is an indication of how far it's fallen.

  2. I lost interest in Rose shortly after 1986 when Topps did those Pete Rose Special cards that were similar to the very cool 1074 Hank Aaron Special cards. The first few cards of the set, the ones that showed all his career Topps cards up til that year. I recall at the time thinking "oh how 'Original' ". I also had very little interest in Phillies Pete Rose. Reminded me a bit of Brewers Hank Aaron. Dang it another Aaron then Rose thing.

  3. I wasn't a big fan of this product... and for over two decades I wasn't a fan of Rose. But with age I've softened my stance and started collecting him again. I just focus on the guy who played his heart out instead of the guy who bet on baseball and lied about it.


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