Rolen with the Cincinnati Reds
|Born: April 4, 1975|
|August 1, 1996, for the Philadelphia Phillies|
|Last MLB appearance|
|October 3, 2012, for the Cincinnati Reds|
|Runs batted in||1,287|
|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.
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, played tennis, and was the runner-up for Indiana Mr. Basketball. Rolen committed to play college basketball for the Georgia Bulldogs over competing offers from programs such as Oklahoma State. However, when Rolen was selected by the Philadelphia Phillies in the 1993 MLB Draft, the club increased their bonus offer in order to successfully woo him away from basketball.
Drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies in the 2nd round of the 1993 amateur draft, Rolen reached the majors in 1996. 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. 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. Later that year, he received an eight-year deal worth $90 million. Rolen was represented in negotiations by ACES Inc.
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 RBIs. He finished fourth in the National League MVP voting. 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 6th inning of game 7 of the NLCS won the National League pennant for St. Louis by defeating the Astros in seven games. 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 four to six weeks. On May 13, he underwent shoulder surgery; an additional MRI revealed a tear in the labrum. He eventually opted to have surgery on his shoulder, rather than attempt to let it heal on its own and return for the playoffs. 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. 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 2 home runs.
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. 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" release.
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.Marco Scutaro was the Jays' third baseman in Rolen's place. On April 25, 2008, Rolen was activated from the 15-day disabled list. Two days later, against the Kansas City Royals, he hit his first home run as a Blue Jay.
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.
On July 31, 2009, Rolen was traded to the Cincinnati Reds along with cash considerations for Edwin Encarnación, Josh Roenicke and Zach Stewart. During the 2010 season, Rolen regularly started at third. He hit his 300th career home run on June 28, 2010 off Kyle Kendrick of the Philadelphia Phillies. 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.
A middle-of-the-order hitter throughout his career, Rolen finished with a career .281 batting average as well as a .364 on-base percentage and a .490 slugging percentage. He had 2,077 hits, 316 home runs, and 1,287 RBIs, while scoring 1,211 runs (as of August 3, 2012). He finished with a career Wins Above Replacement (WAR) of 70.1, which ranks 10th all-time among third basemen. On July 15, 2011, he became the 4th third baseman ever to have 2,000 hits, 500 doubles, 300 home runs, and 1,200 RBIs, along with Mike Schmidt, George Brett and Chipper Jones.
Rolen did not attend 2013 spring training, but also did not announce his retirement.
In 1999, Rolen created The Enis Furley Foundation (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). Rolen's goals for his charity efforts are simple "To have fun, have a blast. Let's play." 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.
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. Rolen and his wife Niki have two children together.