Scott Rolen
Scott Rolen on June 25, 2011.jpg
Rolen with the Cincinnati Reds
Third baseman
Born: (1975-04-04) April 4, 1975 (age 47)
Evansville, Indiana
Batted: Right
Threw: Right
MLB debut
August 1, 1996, for the Philadelphia Phillies
Last MLB appearance
October 3, 2012, for the Cincinnati Reds
MLB statistics
Batting average.281
Hits2,077
Home runs316
Runs batted in1,287
Teams
Career highlights and awards

Scott Bruce Rolen (born April 4, 1975) is an American former professional baseball third baseman. He played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Philadelphia Phillies, St. Louis Cardinals, Toronto Blue Jays and Cincinnati Reds. He was an eight-time Gold Glove winner, seven-time All-Star and the 1997 National League Rookie of the Year. In 2006, Rolen won a World Series Championship as a member of the Cardinals.

On July 18, 2018, he was hired as Director of Player Development for Indiana University's baseball team.[1]

Early life

Rolen was born in Evansville, Indiana, and attended Jasper High School in Jasper, Indiana. During his senior year at Jasper in 1993, he was named Indiana Mr. Baseball,[citation needed] played tennis, and was the runner-up for Indiana Mr. Basketball.[2]

Career

Draft and minor leagues (1993–1996)

After a flurry of scholarship offers from schools like Oklahoma State and the University of Alabama, Rolen ultimately committed to playing college basketball for the Georgia Bulldogs.[3] That commitment was complicated when the Philadelphia Phillies of Major League Baseball (MLB) selected Rolen in the second round of the 1993 MLB Draft. Rolen told reporters after the draft that he hoped he could forge a deal that allowed him to play for the Phillies farm system in the summer and on the Georgia basketball team in the winter.[4] On July 22, however, Rolen chose to forego his commitment to Georgia to sign with the Phillies and focus on baseball; he was subsequently assigned to the Rookie-level Martinsville Phillies of the Appalachian League.[5] He played 25 games in his first season of professional baseball, batting .313 with five doubles and 12 RBI in 80 at bats.[6]

After attending spring training with the Phillies, Rolen opened the 1994 season with the Low A Spartanburg Phillies of the South Atlantic League.[7] While his offensive metrics in Spartanburg were strong, batting .295 with 10 home runs, 30 doubles, and 61 RBI by the last week of August, Rolen's 35 defensive errors in that same span caused concern among sports analysts. Manager Roy Majtyka defended Rolen's defensive performance, saying, "I've seen bad hops that hit him in the head be ruled an error. It's a joke. I honestly think you could take half of them away."[8] Rolen was named Spartanburg's Most Valuable Player after batting .294 with 14 home runs and 72 RBI, but he "wasn't satisfied with anything [he] did", telling reporters after the season, "I need to improve my entire game."[9] When the minor league season concluded, Rolen participated in the 1994 Florida Instructional League to continue honing his sport.[10]

As a minor league baseball player, Rolen was unaffected by the 1994–95 MLB strike,[11] and he reported that April to the Class A-Advanced Clearwater Phillies of the Florida State League.[12] He missed the first part of the season, however, with a fractured hook of hamate on his glove hand that required surgery.[13][14] He was activated from the disabled list on June 6, hitting two home runs against the Brevard County Manatees in his first game after the injury.[15] The injury appeared to help Rolen's offensive performance, as it was less painful for him to hit a pitch well inside the strike zone than outside of it.[16] After hitting .290 with ten home runs and 39 RBI in 238 at bats in Clearwater, Rolen was promoted to the Double-A Reading Phillies of the Eastern League on August 16.[17] He played in an additional 20 games after his promotion, batting .290 with three home runs and 15 RBI in 76 at bats.[6]

Rather than promoting Rolen directly to the major leagues, the Phillies chose to keep him in Reading for the start of the 1996 season, with Todd Zeile playing third base in Philadelphia.[18] After recording nine home runs and 42 RBI while leading the Eastern League by a .361 average, 83 hits, 22 doubles, a .568 slugging percentage, and 33 extra-base hits in 61 games for Reading, Rolen was promoted to the Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Red Barons of the International League on June 13.[19] Rolen's promotion coincided with a difficult stretch for the Phillies, and the team began planning at the end of June to call him up to Philadelphia after the All-Star Game break.[20] He batted .274 in 45 games for Scranton, with two home runs and 19 RBI in 168 at bats.[6]

Philadelphia Phillies (1996–2002)

Rather than taking advantage of the MLB trading deadline to acquire new players for the struggling team, the Phillies chose to promote Rolen for his MLB debut on August 1, 1996.[21] He debuted for the first game of a doubleheader against the St. Louis Cardinals, recording his first major league hit and error in the 2–1 Phillies victory.[22] Rolen's first two home runs came on August 21 in a 6–0 shutout of the Los Angeles Dodgers.[23] What should have been Rolen's rookie season came to a premature end on September 7, when he suffered a fractured right ulna after being hit by a pitch from Steve Trachsel in a 4–2 Philadelphia victory over the Chicago Cubs. Rolen finished the season batting .254 with four home runs and 18 RBI in 130 at bats, the maximum threshold to be considered a rookie for the 1997 season. Had Rolen not fractured his arm in his final plate appearance, he would have been considered a 1996 rookie, but a hit by pitch does not count as an at bat, thus preserving his eligibility for the following season.[24]

In the next season, he was named National League Rookie of the Year, becoming the first Phillie since Dick Allen in 1964 to win the award.[25] In 1998, he won his first of eight Gold Glove awards. Only Hall of Famers Brooks Robinson (16) and Mike Schmidt (10) have more at third base. Rolen was supposed to be one of the key pieces in the Phillies revival. However, claiming that management was not trying hard enough to win, as well as having constant friction with manager Larry Bowa, Rolen demanded a trade. On July 29, 2002, Philadelphia traded Rolen and Doug Nickle to the St. Louis Cardinals for Plácido Polanco, Mike Timlin, and Bud Smith.[26] On September 25, 2002, Rolen signed an eight-year, $90 million extension with the Cardinals.[27] Rolen was represented in negotiations by ACES Inc.[28]

St. Louis Cardinals (2002–2007)

Rolen batting for the Cardinals in 2006
Rolen batting for the Cardinals in 2006

Rolen's 2004 season was one of his best. For much of the season, he led the National League in RBIs, often ranked among the league leaders in most offensive statistics, and had the highest vote total of any player for the All-Star Game. Despite being injured for the last stretch of the season, he finished the year with a career-high .314 batting average, 34 home runs, and 124 RBI.[29] He finished fourth in the National League MVP voting.[29] Rolen, along with Albert Pujols and Jim Edmonds earned the nickname "MV3" for their outstanding 2004 seasons. The 2004 Cardinals won the National League Central Division with 105 wins. Rolen's two-run home run in the sixth inning of Game 7 of the NLCS won the National League pennant for St. Louis by defeating the Astros in seven games.[30] However, the Boston Red Sox swept the Cardinals in four games to win the 2004 World Series.

On May 10, 2005, Rolen injured his shoulder in a collision with Dodgers first baseman Hee-Seop Choi and was placed on the disabled list two days later. He was expected to be out of action for up to six weeks.[31] On May 13, he underwent shoulder surgery; an additional MRI revealed a tear in the labrum.[32] He eventually opted to have season-ending surgery on his shoulder in August, rather than attempt to let it heal on its own and return for the playoffs.[33] He finally returned to full-time duties in 2006, a year in which Rolen was one of six nominees for the National League Comeback Player of the Year award. He finished 2006 hitting .292, hitting 22 home runs and 95 RBI.[29] Rolen and the Cardinals won the 2006 World Series over the Detroit Tigers. On September 15, 2006, Rolen set a personal record for RBIs in a game with 7 in a 14–4 win against the San Francisco Giants, hitting two home runs.[34]

The next year, however, Rolen faced more injury woes. He was placed on the 15-day disabled list on August 31, 2007 because of his recurring left shoulder problems.[35] On September 11, Rolen had season-ending shoulder surgery "for the removal of scar tissue and a bursectomy and a manipulation of his left (non-throwing) shoulder".[36]

Toronto Blue Jays (2008–2009)

Rolen with the Toronto Blue Jays in May 2009
Rolen with the Toronto Blue Jays in May 2009

On January 12, 2008, the Cardinals reached a preliminary deal to send Rolen to the Toronto Blue Jays for Troy Glaus (which became finalized on January 14).[37]

Rolen suffered a non-displaced fracture of his right middle finger during fielding drills at spring training. His fingernail was also torn off. As a result, Rolen missed the beginning of the regular season, having surgery to insert a screw in his broken finger.[38] Marco Scutaro was the Blue Jays' third baseman in Rolen's place. On April 25, 2008, Rolen was activated from the 15-day disabled list.[39] Two days later, against the Kansas City Royals, he hit his first home run as a Blue Jay.[40]

After coming off another stint in the DL in late August, this time for his shoulder, he modified his batting stance by lowering his shoulders and arms by six inches, enabling him to reestablish his offensive power for the season's final month and hitting a couple of home runs at the comfort of less strain on the shoulder, which he had three prior surgeries to correct. He finished the year with a .262 batting average, 11 home runs and 50 RBI in 115 games.[29]

Cincinnati Reds (2009–2012)

On July 31, 2009, Rolen was traded to the Cincinnati Reds along with cash considerations for Edwin Encarnación, Josh Roenicke and Zach Stewart.[41] During the 2010 season, Rolen regularly started at third base. He hit his 300th career home run on June 28, 2010 off Kyle Kendrick of the Philadelphia Phillies.[42] His performance helped the Reds win the Central Division that year, their first division championship in 15 seasons. Rolen also won his eighth Gold Glove as a member of the Reds, the third team with which he received the award.[29]

A middle-of-the-order hitter throughout his career, Rolen finished with a career .281 batting average, a .364 on-base percentage and a .490 slugging percentage. He had 2,077 hits, 316 home runs, and 1,287 RBI, while scoring 1,211 runs. He finished with a career Wins Above Replacement (WAR) of 70.1, which ranks 10th all-time among third basemen.[29]

On July 15, 2011, he became the fourth third baseman ever to have 2,000 hits, 500 doubles, 300 home runs and 1,200 RBI, along with Mike Schmidt, George Brett and Chipper Jones.[43]

Rolen did not attend 2013 spring training, but also did not announce his retirement.[44]

Charity work

In 1999, Rolen created The Enis Furley Foundation[45] (named after one of Rolen's dogs), wanting to help children and their families who struggle with illness, hardship, or other special needs. The scope of the foundation was intentionally left broad to give the flexibility to respond to a wide range of personal circumstances. Externally, the Enis Furley Foundation is active in community outreach programs, "Hot Corner Kids," and the construction of outdoor retreats, such as "Camp Emma Lou" (named after another one of Rolen's dogs).[46] Rolen's goals for his charity efforts are simple: "To have fun, have a blast. Let's play."[46]

Rolen gave Indiana University a "major gift" to the Indiana University baseball program and its facility, Bart Kaufman Field. Rolen made the contribution in honor of his parents, Ed and Linda Rolen, who are longtime educators and IU fans.[47]

Awards and honors

Rolen has appeared on balloting for the National Baseball Hall of Fame since 2018, when he received 10.2% of the vote, well short of the 75% required for election, but above the 5% minimum required to remain on the ballot. His support has increased to 52.9% as of the 2021 ballot, his fourth appearance. A player may appear on the ballot a maximum of 10 times.

Personal life

Rolen currently splits his time between residences in Bloomington, Indiana, and Holmes Beach, Florida. On July 18, 2018, Rolen was hired as the Director of Player Development for Indiana University baseball.[1] Rolen and his wife Niki have two children together.

See also

References

  1. ^ a b "Mercer Tabs Rolen as Director of Player Development". Indiana Hoosiers. July 18, 2018. Retrieved July 18, 2018.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  2. ^ O'Brien, David (April 11, 1999). "Dunwoody: Rolen An Ace--in Tennis Too". Sun-Sentinel. Archived from the original on February 16, 2017. Retrieved February 15, 2017.
  3. ^ Cohen, Robert W. (2022). The 50 Greatest Players in Philadelphia Phillies History. Lanham, MD: Lyons Press. p. 145. ISBN 978-1-493-06696-4. Retrieved January 26, 2022.
  4. ^ Ambrogi, Mark (June 4, 1993). "Mucker can now mull over several options". The Indianapolis Star. p. B7. Retrieved January 26, 2022 – via Newspapers.com. icon of an open green padlock
  5. ^ Engelhardt, Gordon (July 23, 1993). "Phils get their man". Evansville Courier & Press. p. C1. Retrieved January 26, 2022 – via Newspapers.com. icon of an open green padlock
  6. ^ a b c "Scott Rolen Minor Leagues Statistics & History". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved January 26, 2022.
  7. ^ "Rolen starts spring in Class A". Dubois County Herald. April 4, 1994. p. 28. Retrieved January 26, 2022 – via Newspapers.com. icon of an open green padlock
  8. ^ Finocchiaro, Ray (August 26, 1994). "Rolen among Phillies' top prospects". The News Journal. p. C4. Retrieved January 26, 2022 – via Newspapers.com. icon of an open green padlock
  9. ^ Hagen, Paul (September 28, 1994). "His own worst critic". Philadelphia Daily News. p. 83. Retrieved January 26, 2022 – via Newspapers.com. icon of an open green padlock
  10. ^ Marti, Chris (September 10, 1994). "After year away, Phillies return to Florida Instructional League". The Tampa Tribune. p. St. Petersburg 12. Retrieved January 26, 2022 – via Newspapers.com. icon of an open green padlock
  11. ^ Bardwell, Cam (February 21, 1995). "Rolen ready to continue drive toward big leagues". Dubois County Herald. p. 23. Retrieved January 26, 2022 – via Newspapers.com. icon of an open green padlock
  12. ^ Marti, Chris (April 6, 1995). "County teams seem poised for return to playoffs in '95". The Tampa Tribune. p. St. Petersburg 6. Retrieved January 26, 2022 – via Newspapers.com. icon of an open green padlock
  13. ^ Lee, Steve (April 7, 1995). "Phillies limp into FSL season". Tampa Bay Times. p. 6C. Retrieved January 26, 2022 – via Newspapers.com. icon of an open green padlock
  14. ^ Brookover, Bob (April 12, 1995). "Longmire finally returns". The Daily Journal. Vineland, NJ. p. C4. Retrieved January 26, 2022 – via Newspapers.com. icon of an open green padlock
  15. ^ Johnson, Carey D. (June 7, 1995). "Phillies upend Manatees". Florida Today. Retrieved January 26, 2022 – via Newspapers.com. icon of an open green padlock
  16. ^ Marti, Chris (June 14, 1995). "Rolen makes most of his bad break". The Tampa Tribune. p. Polk 7. Retrieved January 26, 2022 – via Newspapers.com. icon of an open green padlock
  17. ^ Rubino, Michael (August 16, 1995). "Red-hot Rolen catches red-eye to Reading for promotion". Dubois County Herald. p. 24. Retrieved January 26, 2022 – via Newspapers.com. icon of an open green padlock
  18. ^ Schuler, Jeff (April 3, 1996). "Rolen brightest of several R-Phils' prospects". The Morning Call. p. C4. Retrieved January 26, 2022 – via Newspapers.com. icon of an open green padlock
  19. ^ Holeva, Larry (June 13, 1996). "Rolen arrives from Reading". The Scranton Times-Tribune. p. B4. Retrieved January 26, 2022 – via Newspapers.com. icon of an open green padlock
  20. ^ Hagen, Paul (June 29, 1996). "Phillies taking long look at third base prospect". York Daily Record. p. 4B. Retrieved January 26, 2022 – via Newspapers.com. icon of an open green padlock
  21. ^ Hagen, Paul (August 1, 1996). "Mulholland traded to M's for prospect". Philadelphia Daily News. p. 74. Retrieved January 26, 2022 – via Newspapers.com. icon of an open green padlock
  22. ^ Bostrom, Don (August 2, 1996). "Phillies begin the Scott Rolen Era with victory". The Morning Call. p. C3. Retrieved January 26, 2022 – via Newspapers.com. icon of an open green padlock
  23. ^ Nadel, John (August 22, 1996). "Schilling pitches, Rolen hits Phillies to win over Dodgers". Republican Herald. p. 14. Retrieved January 26, 2022 – via Newspapers.com. icon of an open green padlock
  24. ^ Jensen, Mike (September 8, 1996). "Phillies win one, lose Rolen for season". The Philadelphia Inquirer. p. C6. Retrieved January 26, 2022 – via Newspapers.com. icon of an open green padlock
  25. ^ Baer, Bill (2012). 100 Things Phillies Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die. United States: Triumph Books. p. 256. ISBN 9781617496189.
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  28. ^ Stark, Jayson (September 27, 2002). "Cards lock up a gem in Rolen". ESPN. Retrieved April 15, 2016.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
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  31. ^ "Rolen out up to six weeks". ESPN. Associated Press. May 12, 2005. Retrieved December 27, 2021.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
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  33. ^ "Rolen under the knife, shoulder surgery ends season". ESPN. Associated Press. August 21, 2005. Retrieved December 27, 2021.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  34. ^ "Rolen, Duncan each hit two HRs as Cards rout Giants". ESPN. Associated Press. September 16, 2006. Retrieved December 27, 2021.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  35. ^ Leach, Matthew (September 1, 2007). "No news is bad news for Rolen". St. Louis Cardinals. MLB.com. Archived from the original on January 23, 2012. Retrieved December 27, 2021.
  36. ^ "***MEDICAL STATEMENT***". St. Louis Cardinals. MLB.com. September 11, 2007. Archived from the original on January 18, 2008. Retrieved January 18, 2008.
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  39. ^ "Former All-Star Rolen rejoins Jays". Houston Chronicle. April 25, 2008. Retrieved December 28, 2021.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  40. ^ "Blue Jays snap six-game slide behind Rolen, Rios". ESPN. Associated Press. April 27, 2008. Retrieved December 28, 2021.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  41. ^ Sheldon, Mark (July 31, 2009). "Reds beat clock with two Deadline trades". MLB.com. MLB Advanced Media. Archived from the original on August 3, 2009. Retrieved April 15, 2016.
  42. ^ "Rolen's 300th HR leads streaking Reds as Cueto stops Phillies". ESPN. Associated Press. June 28, 2010. Retrieved December 28, 2021.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  43. ^ "Scott Rolen - Baseball Coach". Indiana Hoosiers. Retrieved December 28, 2021.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  44. ^ Calcaterra, Craig (February 12, 2013). "Scott Rolen sounds like a guy getting ready to retire". NBC Sports. Retrieved June 22, 2013.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  45. ^ "Enis Furley Foundation". The Enis Furley Foundation. Retrieved April 15, 2016.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  46. ^ a b Elliott, Bob (July 18, 2010). "Rolen's hope for kids". SLAM! Sports. Archived from the original on March 9, 2016. Retrieved April 15, 2016.
  47. ^ "Scott Rolen Gift to New Bart Kaufman Field to Honor His Parents and Family". Indiana University Athletics. April 22, 2013. Retrieved February 15, 2017.
  48. ^ "Indiana Mr. Baseball Award". Indiana Bulls. July 13, 2011. Retrieved November 7, 2012.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
Preceded byJason Kendall Sporting News NL Rookie of the Year 1997 Succeeded byTodd Helton Preceded byTodd Hollandsworth Players Choice NL Most Outstanding Rookie 1997 Succeeded byKerry Wood Preceded byJoe Randa Topps Rookie All-Star Third Baseman 1997 Succeeded byBob Smith