Pete Rose is one of the most controversial players in Major League Baseball history. He has more hits than any other person who has played in the league, yet he is blacklisted from the majors and remains out of the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
That is due to gambling he did while still playing and managing in the league. Some people that is a legitimate reason to keep him out of the Hall of Fame, while others feel his on-field accomplishments speak for themselves and should get him inducted.
While he is banned from the majors, Rose makes money by capitalizing on his infamy, while his fans make money by selling his baseball cards. Here’s how valuable they can be.
Pete Rose’s MLB career
Rose played 24 seasons in the majors and accumulated 4,256 hits over that span — 67 more than Ty Cobb, who is second on the all-time list. Rose finished his career with a .303/.375/.409 slash line, with 160 home runs and 1,314 RBI. He stole 198 bases. He was a three-time World Series champion and the National League MVP in 1973.
Rose played until 1986, but he began his managerial career in 1984 and is the most recent player-manager in MLB. He managed the Reds for six seasons, leading them to a 412-373-1 record.
Pete Rose’s post-MLB career
Since being banned from the majors, Rose has been parlaying his fame into a career by appearing at autograph shows and other places around the country where he can sell his autograph. He released his autobiography in 2004, in which he admitted publicly for the first time that he bet on baseball and other sports while playing for and managing the Reds.
Rose thought that admission might help him regain entry into MLB and again become eligible for the Hall of Fame, though neither has happened despite Rose continuing to apply for reinstatement as recently as 2015, after Rob Manfred succeeded Bud Selig as the commissioner of MLB.
That year, Fox Sports hired Rose to serve as an analyst on the pregame and postgame shows of its MLB coverage. Rose held that position until 2017, when the network released Rose after sexual misconduct allegations against the MLB hit leader surfaced in the media.
How much are his baseball cards worth?
Even though Pete Rose may never be reinstated to MLB or make it into the Hall of Fame, his baseball cards are still worth a lot of money because he is, after all, the all-time hit king in MLB. So exactly how much would you have to pay if you want to buy a rose card?
It obviously varies depending on the specific card, condition, and other factors, but sales have been as high as the mid-to-upper six figures. The most valuable Rose card is generally thought to be the 1963 Topps Rookie Stars card featuring Rose and fellow rookies Ken McMullen, Pedro Gonzalez, and Al Weis.
If you’re going to spend a lot of money on it, you’d better be sure it’s the real deal because that card is one of the most counterfeited modern cards. And why wouldn’t it be? Considering the card in gem mint 10 condition sold for more than $700,000 in 2016.
Other valuable Rose baseball cards include a 1964 Topps that honors his Rookie of the Year season, the 2012 Panini Prime Cuts Rose autograph card, a 1974 Topps that features an image of the hit king squaring around to bunt, and a 1977 Topps card that honored the Reds sweeping the Phillies in the 1976 National League Championship Series, with the image on the card showing Rose hustling around the bases.