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Legends of Yesteryear: Scott Rolen’s Path To The Hall

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On Sunday July 23, 2023, 17-year MLB veteran Scott Rolen will enter the Hall of Fame along with the Crime Dog, Fred McGriff.

The Evansville, Indiana native was selected by the Philadelphia Phillies in round 2 of the 1993 June Draft out of Jasper High School (Jasper, IN).

Just three years removed from high school, Rolen made his MLB debut on August 1, 1996 and in 37 games, he batted .254 (33 for 130), with 10 runs scored, seven doubles, four home runs, 18 RBIs, and 13 walks.

The 1997 season, would be one to remember for Rolen as he won the NL Rookie of the Year honors after batting .283 (159 for 561), with 35 doubles, three triples, 21 home runs, 92 RBIs and 76 walks.

Even though Rolen had five phenomenal full seasons to begin his major league career, he did make make his first All Star game until 2002, which ironically was his last year as a Phillies player. On July 29, 2002, the Phillies traded Rolen to the St. Louis Cardinals for Placido Polanco, Mike Timlin and Bud Smith.

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In Rolen’s seven years in Philadelphia, he batted .282, with 207 doubles, 19 triples, 150 home runs and 426 walks. Along with the Rookie of the Year and his All Star selection, he won four Gold Gloves, and a Silver Slugger award.

After joining the Cardinals for the second half of the 2002 season, Rolen signed an 8-year extension to stay in St. Louis. For the next four seasons, he was selected to the All Star game each season, won three Gold Gloves, and finished in the top 4 for the MVP in 2004.

In 2004, Rolen helped the Cards win the NL Pennant and the organizations return to the World Series for the first time since 1987, when they lost to the Minnesota Twins. But they would not win another title, as the Boston Red Sox finally took home the title for the first time since 1918.

The Rolen years would prove to be magical for the Cardinals, as they won their division title in three of the six full seasons he spent with the club, even adding a World Championship in 2006.

During the 2007 season, he was marred with injuries that only allowed him to appear in 112 games. Then on January 14, 2008, the Cardinals traded Rolen to the Toronto Blue Jays for Troy Glaus.

During his tenure with the Cardinals, Rolen batted .286, with 173 doubles, 13 triples, 111 home runs, 453 RBIs and 292 walks.

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Rolen stayed with Toronto for two seasons, appearing in just 115 games in 2008 and 88 in 2009. With injuries preventing from putting up his power numbers, the Blue Jays traded Rolen on July 31, 2009 to the Cincinnati Reds for Edwin Encarnacion, Josh Roenicke and Zach Stewart.

In 2010, the future Hall of Famer, returned to All Star form, as he batted .285, with 20 home runs and 83 RBIs through 133 games. He would go on to win his 8th Gold Glove, appear in his 6th All Star game and finished in the top 14 for the NL MVP. The Reds also won their first Central Division Crown since the 1995 season.

On July 15, 2011, Rolen became the fourth third baseman to have 2,000 hits, 500 doubles, 300 home runs, and 1,200 RBIs. The other three are Mike Schmidt, George Brett and Chipper Jones.

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Rolen appeared in his 7th and last All Star game in 2011, but was shut down for the rest of the season on July 22nd with a left shoulder strain. He returned back to the field for the 2012 season appearing in 92 games and helping the Reds to the NL Central Division crown. After the season, Rolen elected to be a free agent, and he did not attend the 2013 spring training season and did not announce his retirement, but after a storied career, baseball knew it was time to move on.

For his 17 year baseball career, Rolen batted .281, with 1,211 runs, 2,077 hits, 517 doubles, 43 triples, 316 home runs, 1287 RBIs, 899 walks, and 118 SB.

On July 23, 2023, Major League Baseball enshrined Scott Rolen and Fred McGriff into the MLB Hall of Fame.

 

David is the Co-Founder and Executive Editor of Legends On Deck®, as well as a Co-Host on Legends On Deck Podcast. David was a Senior Editor for MetsMerizedOnline.com, MetsMinors.net and Contributor for Hardballchat.com that spanned from 2010 to 2014. David made his MLB Debut as a writer in June 2014, while covering the NY Mets at Citi Field, for MetsmerizedOnline.com. David also coaches baseball for ages 13-15, a Babe Ruth League team in his local community. David's passion is coaching the game he loves to the future Legends of Tomorrow as well as making available a website that people can have fun sharing and reading. David is also passionate about his career as a Mortgage Loan Officer which allows him to help many families reach their dreams of owning a home. Connect with David via his Social Media pages as he loves to chat all about baseball.

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