Pete Rose's face may be a common sight on sports pages and nightly newscasts, but it doesn't rate a spot on a poster commemorating the 50th anniversary of a minor league.
Though he's one of the New York-Penn League's most famous alumni, Rose's image has been left off the Class A minor league's poster that includes 18 other former NY-P players who went on to fame in the majors.There's Wade Boggs, Jim Rice, Maury Wills and Warren Spahn, but Rose is missing - and it's no oversight.
"The sponsor didn't want him on there," league president Leo Pinckney said.
A spokeswoman for Marine-Midland Bank, which sponsored the poster, said she didn't know why Rose was left off. Judith Nolan said baseball's investigation into its all-time hits leader for alleged gambling may have been a factor, but "I really can't say."
Charles Lynch, the league's lawyer, also declined to say why the Cincinnati Reds' manager wasn't on the poster. But he did acknowledge Rose's absence was no oversight. He said Rose was initially among those considered for the poster.
Rose played 85 games for Geneva of the New York-Penn League in 1960, batting .277 with 43 RBIs and 18 stolen bases.
Rose is under investigation by the commissioner's office for "serious allegations" of gambling improprieties, but neither the league nor the bank sponsoring the poster would say if that is why he didn't make the poster.
Both Nolan and Lynch said the decision to exclude Rose was one made by both the bank and the league.