100 Greatest Phillies: 28 – Scott Rolen

Posted by Tim Malcolm, Fri, February 27, 2009 06:30 PM | Comments: 39
100 Greatest Phillies, Posts

Scott Rolen
Third Baseman

Career w/Phillies: .281 AVG / 150 HR / 559 RBI / 71 SB

In 1980 while en route to a league championship, the Phillies drafted Juan Samuel. In 1993 while en route to a league championship, they drafted Scott Rolen. The Indiana third baseman made his splashy Phillies debut in 1996, then traditionally became a rookie in ’97, winning the NL Rookie of the Year award after a fine season (.283 AVG, 21 HR, 92 RBI). Quickly, Rolen’s bat showed he was one of the game’s premier infielders. He slugged 31 home runs and drove in 110 in 1998, at age 23. Moreover, he was an exceptional fielder, winning four Gold Gloves as a member of the Phillies. Many compared him to Mike Schmidt, and while those comparisons seemed dead on early, injuries derailed Rolen’s ascension to more of a crawl. He still put up great numbers (2001: .289, 25 HR, 107 RBI), hitting 20 home runs almost every season he played in Philly. Of course, his tenure in our city came to an end, as Rolen was traded to the Cardinals … “Baseball Heaven,” he called it. He descended from Heaven last year, being traded to Toronto.

Comment: Of all his moments in pinstripes, maybe Rolen’s most memorable was his two-home run night to lead the Phillies in late 2001, the first night baseball resumed after the attacks of Sept. 11. He’ll always be remembered for that. Injuries stopped him from being legendary, and a tough relationship with the team hurt worse, but no one can deny Rolen’s place in Phillies history.

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About Tim Malcolm

Tim Malcolm has written 1947 articles on Phillies Nation.

  • Posts: 0 Good Night Joe Carter

    I have no love for players who had no love for the Phillies. Scott Rolen, Curt Schilling, and others may have had some great years for the Phillies, but in my book I put them just a notch above J.D. Drew for the way they left.

  • Posts: 0 BurrGundy

    Rolen deserves to be this high on the list. When with Philly he was an elete third baseman. Like Mike Schmidt, as a person, he was a moody and not at all fan-friendly. Now I am glad that he is gone and largely forgotten. He wore out his welcome here and also in St. Louis because he did not get along with management and proved to be too sensitive to thrive in the spotlight. Based on the last few years, I believ Scott Rolen is on the way out of major league baseball. However, I hope he finds peace and success in Toronto.

  • Posts: 0 Greg V.

    I agree! I believe Rolen and Schilling should be disqualified from the list! They aren’t Phillies in my book!

  • Posts: 0 T Marty

    F- Rolen

  • Posts: 0 Griffin

    When the Phillies traded Rolen, I thought he may have gotten a bad rap and that Phillies fans were too harsh on him. But then he didn’t get along with Tony LaRussa and didn’t speak to him for an entire season! Rolen was too sensitive for St. Louis, so obviously he was no match for Philly.

    It’s a shame because given his unbelievable defense, he was on a Hall of Fame career path, but injuries and being a wuss derailed that.

  • Posts: 0 NJ

    Tough to accept Rolen as a great Phil above so many of the names that proceeded him on this list. Sure he was a great player here but he soiled his reputation and was a graet player just not a ‘great Phil’

  • Posts: 0 Jason B.

    I remember the game in 01. When he hit the 2nd homer, it put the Phils ahead over the Braves and that place went CRAZY. I never saw so many American flags in my life. Also, there were grown men crying like babies(including myself) in the styands that night after the national anthem was sung. Although I think Rolen was a petulent little baby, I will probably tell my grandkids about that night in the history of our country. It was memorable and utterly amazing.

  • Posts: 0 ashmidt

    hey, i dont blame rolen or schilling for wanting to get out of philly when they were here. the teams were pathetic. they were the only two all stars they had. bill giles just was not committed to winning. i saw all of mike schmidts career, great fielder he might have made one great play a month. scott rolen made two a week he was fantastic, if he had a fault it was that he played too hard. he did the fans a favor by speaking out. he would fit perfectly with this team, i would take him back in a heartbeat. schilling too.

  • Posts: 0 Phillies Phan SC

    I know that buttmunch will yell at me for mentioning Pete Rose, and I am OVER IT, but there is NO WAY Rolen is #28. I would have accepted Rolen as #54 and Rose at #28. Rolen is also a buttmunch, the same caliber as the one who yells at everyone for mentioning Rose, but Rolen was good, so he deserves to be on the list.

    Look at the plus side, Rolen did the same thing to the Cards so it is not personal. Rolen is a buttmunch.

  • Posts: 0 Mike W.

    The most memorable rolen story is clearly his first game back at the vet, as a Cardinal (I was in attendance). By FAR the loudest boos i have heard, even to this day.

  • Posts: 0 Jason B.

    Phils Phan:
    ALthough I whole heartedly agree on the degree of Scott Rolen’s Buttmunchedness. However, Rolen, as mentioned, was a four time gold glover, Rookie of the year, all star, ect, ect. During his Tenure with the Phils, one could argue that he is top 5 all time as a Phil at third base. I really can’t think of any higher except Schmidtty. I may have had him in the 30′s, some could argue that he should be a bit higher on the list. But he was a cry baby and personality wise was a guy that was easy to loathe. As much as I hated the fact that he was a cry baby, I still missed him the day he left. Being a season ticket holder since birth, and seeing such bad baseball for so damn long(other than the 93 team), Rolen made some lean years fun to watch. If he would have stayed, we may have won a title sooner. Just think David Bell.

  • Posts: 0 Jason B.

    Although, to think he was in baseball in St. Louis, he has now entered baseball hell in Toronto.

  • Posts: 0 Jason B.

    baseball heaven in St. Louis, sorry.

  • Posts: 0 ashmidt

    buttmunch, the only buttmunch in philly is eskin, and andy reid has a big butt.

  • Posts: 0 Jason B.

    Eskin definately munch’s a hefty amount of butt, ironiclly it happens to be Andy’s.

  • Posts: 0 Phillies Phan SC

    Eskin is the “King” of buttmunches

    Jason B. – Ok, I will give you that, BUT Rolen’s buttmuchness should penalize him 50 slots to #54 LOL Kidding, but I do see your point… Bell for ROlen was not much of a “trade” (I mean 3B to 3B not team trade), but it was nicer with Bell…

  • Posts: 0 Mickey D

    I thought he cost Bowa his job and derailed a damn good team. If there’s an as(s)terisk on this list, put it next to his name.

  • Posts: 0 christopher

    rolen higher than hamels and rose, and morandini doesn’t even make the list. i’m sorry tim, but this is getting sad.

  • Posts: 0 James Kay

    I have been a Phillies fan since 1960. My favorite team is the 1961 edition. You know, the one that lost 23 in a row. Of all the great Phillies players and great Phillies baseball I have seen over the decades, I must admit that the only times I hated a Phillie was when Scott Rolen came to the plate. Forget the good numbers. This guy was about as tasteless and graceless (not a fielding reference) as they come. Aim the ball at his head and banish him to Toronto. He belongs there.
    Tim, I love this list but you should have made it 200 entries. The Phillies just have so much history. For contrast, have you considered compiling an all time worst Phillies list. Check out this site for some suggestions. http://inquirer.philly.com/pdfs/2007/worst-team.pdf

  • Posts: 0 Manny

    WE HAVE AN AWESOME TEAM… Rollins, Utley, Victorino, Howard, Lidge, Hamels, Myers, Moyer, Werth….

    Lets do this again!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  • Posts: 0 Malcolm

    Wow,. . Tim, I can’t believe you put him this high. I’ve loved all your picks thus far, and Rolen did put up numbers, I remember respecting him when he played in Philadelphia, but as a Phillie,..? you’re going to put him in the top 30..? All my continued gratitudes for compiling this list, but I would have loved to see Kruk or Bowa get in there. Other people have their thoughts, that’s just mine.

  • Posts: 0 Phillie South

    This piece of dirt would not have made my list. He would have been # 1 on the Prima Donna list

  • Posts: 0 Jason B.

    Awesome link. I remember Kyle Abbott… He was god awful bad. There was one game where my pops and I got there, he saw who was pitching, so we left. That was the night he got his first and only win of the season.

  • Posts: 0 kreiderr

    Sometimes you just wish players would shut-up and play baseball. You just had Juan Samuel on your list. A great talent, but played on some horrible teams. I never remember him speaking out against the Phillies organization. Now he’s on the Phillies Wall of Fame for being a good player and a CLASS GUY. Scott Rolen will never be accused of being the latter. Looking back over this list there are at least 20 other players I would put above Scott Rolen. I hope he enjoys his time in Toronto.

  • Posts: 0 Tyler

    when rolen was here, he was undoubtedly my faborite player, when he left, he remained my favorite player because i was still only 10 years old. When i got older and learned of the terms of his departure, i started to grow bitter towards him, but i don’t hate him as much as many other fans.

  • Posts: 0 deal

    Mixed emotions on Rolen – good numbers, whined his way out of Philadelphia and then whined his way out of St Louis.

    It wasn’t just the Phillies that ran him out of town.

    The two homer night in Sept 2001 still one of the best ever though.

    I am glad he got a ring w/ the Cards. but the guy has a lot of Diva in him.

  • Posts: 0 Gavin

    One of the top 5 defensive 3Baggers in histroy in my book. I blame Ed Wade more than I do Rolen for the fiasco. Rolens problem was that he didnt like the boos. I bet if he could go back in time he’d do things differently. I think he’s a good guy overall.

  • Posts: 0 Dan L

    One of the most complete Phils’ players of the past 20 years…A shame he had such personality issues.

    Luckily, we have since moved on and now have THE most complete Phillie of the past 20 years, at second base instead of third.

  • Posts: 0 beta sigma shag

    I really dont see how you can compare rolen to schilling, Maybe I just remember better then the some of you, but I don’t every remember shill asking to get out, the year before he was traded to arizona, he turned down the option to trade him, and the front office ask him again the following year to go. No way schill is close to the idiot buttmunch rolen was who cried every time he had the chance to. But he was a good player when here and deserves to be on the list somewhere.

  • Interesting list so far. Rolen is distasteful to me and not worthy of the ranking. Gold Glover or not, there are intangibles involved in selecting where players are slotted.

  • Posts: 0 matt p

    what a farce this list is… I got 2 words for you… PETE ROSE! I cannot give this list any credibility.

  • Posts: 0 the lopez!

    scott rolen was a great phillie
    though plagued by injuries

    he simply expressed publicly the same frustrations felt by many fans here.
    the phils in the 90′s were playing on a shoe string budget and thus were the bottom feeders of the nl east.

    i remember going to the vet in the 90′s and seeing a sea of empty blue seats. i remember those damn eagle fans chanting e-a-g-l-e-s in july.
    how frustrating is must have been to play for that team then

    i wished he would have stayed with the phils. the team is now what he had hoped it would be

  • Posts: 0 ryan

    Scott Rolen, now there is one completely unlikeable prick.

  • Posts: 0 Ed R.

    I’ll side with the Rolen fans here. He was a great player and one of the few enjoyable reasons to watch the Phils. I can never believe all the talk about his being a prick. I mean, compared to Rose, a world-class douchebag and unregenerate liar? Or Bowa, another total douchebag who can’t hang onto a managerial job because he’s a lunatic with no emotional control who can’t get along with anyone? Puhleeze!

    Rolen’s problems with the Phils were my problems with the Phils. He wasn’t happy that the Giles administration was happy to put a crappy team on the field year in and year out while pretending to be a small-market team in a large market. He didn’t want to commit to a team only to watch it dump all the other good players for salary reasons, and said so. If you’re going to be pissed at someone, pick Bill Giles for “masterminding” all this.

    Now to more important things. Does this mean Greg Gross is in the top 25?

  • Posts: 0 ashmidt

    well said ed, you restored my faith, . i am not the only philly fan buffaloed by the media in this town. the majority of fans in this town are sheep.

  • Posts: 0 Keith

    “Scotty-too Hottie” one of my favorite Phils! That guy could play.

  • Posts: 0 Roose13

    My favorite player of all time. He’s deserving of this spot.

  • Posts: 0 mplant

    Loved Rolen as a Phillie. Looking at his stats, aside from his 2004 career year, his best seasons were mostly spend with the Phils. I do feel he whined his way out of town, but I also feel there was more than enough blame to go around on management’s side as well

  • Posts: 0 Billylick

    Scott Rolen, probably deserves to be on the list but career in Phila not too long therefore belongs 75-100.

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