Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Rolen Elected Into Hall of Fame

1996 Topps #434
1997 Topps #268
1998 Topps #25
1999 Topps #125
2000 Topps #328
2001 Topps #478
2002 Topps #610
2002 Topps #709

On Tuesday evening, and with 76.3% of the votes, Scott Rolen squeaked into the Hall of Fame and will be inducted in Cooperstown on July 23.  It was Rolen's fifth year on the ballot, and he saw a steady ascent since receiving just 10.2% of the votes during his initial year of 2018, when the ballot had been much more crowded.  He's a Hall of Famer on the strength of his combined offensive and defensive output, and his induction hopefully builds the case for Dick Allen, Dale Murphy and eventually Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley.

Rolen was drafted by the Phillies in the 2nd round of the June 1993 amateur player draft, and he'd make his big league debut on August 1, 1996, getting the call after third baseman Todd Zeile was dealt to the Orioles at the trade deadline.  Rolen was the team's opening day third baseman in 1997, ultimately winning the Rookie of the Year in the National League, after batting .283 with 21 home runs and 92 RBIs.  He'd win his first of eight Gold Gloves the following year in 1998.  Rolen was the Phillies' opening day and regular third baseman between 1997 and mid-2002, during some pretty lean years.  Not looking to sign a contract extension, and wanting to play for a winning team, he was dealt to the Cardinals on July 29, 2002 with Doug Nickle and cash for Placido Polanco, Bud Smith and Mike Timlin.

I was disappointed and upset with Rolen when the trade was announced, and I've since gotten over that.

In his seven seasons with the club, he appeared in 884 games, nearly 200 more than he appeared with the Cardinals.  Rolen batted .282 with 150 home runs and 559 RBIs with the Phillies, again surpassing his totals with the Cardinals.  He's not yet decided which hat his plaque will show when he's inducted, and while a Cardinals hat probably makes the most sense, I'm hoping he wears a Phillies hat.  Rolen also seems a natural candidate to be the team's Wall of Fame Inductee in 2023, but no official announcement has been made.


John Bateman said...

I just never felt Rolen was a hall of famer. Baines now him. He was a good player but....

Dick Allen from 1964 to 1974, only Aaron could say he had better stats. For 11 years Allen was the best player in baseball. Very few players can say they were the best for 11 years.

Jim said...

I have more Scott Rolen cards than I care to admit! I never stopped collecting sets, but in the 1990s I returned in earnest as a team (Phillies) collector. Rolen was coming into the picture as I was accumulating every Phillies card I could between 1993 and 2002. My official tally is 671 unique Rolen cards in my collection.

And Dick Allen belongs in the Hall of Fame. He's going to get in, and it's an injustice he won't be here to enjoy it.