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.