Future Hall of Famer and Former Phillies 3rd Baseman Scott Rolen reflects fondly on his time in Philadelphia

7020962  Marlins v Phillies
5 April 2002: Scott Rolen of the Philadelphia Phillies during the Phils’ 6-2 victory over the Florida Marlins at Veterans Stadium in Philadelphia, PA. Mandatory Credit: Icon Sports Media

With a little more than a week until the 2023 Major League Baseball Hall of Fame Induction ceremony, former Phillies third baseman and Hall of Fame inductee Scott Rolen took the opportunity to meet with the media Friday afternoon to reflect on a career – and city – that transformed his life.

The former third baseman spent the first six and a half seasons of his big league career in Philadelphia after being drafted by the Phillies in the second round of the 1993 draft.

Rolen was one of the better players on the Phillies in his time with the club; however, a reluctance to spend money by the Phillies organization and the resulting lack of motivation to win caused a falling out between the the slugger and his front office.

The incoming Hall of Famer would go on to play a storied and successful 17-year career, where he won 8 Gold Gloves, was a 7-time All-Star, and was a World Series champion in 2006 with the St. Louis Cardinals.

While the former Phillies third baseman is going into the Hall of Fame in a Cardinals cap, he still looks fondly on the formative years he spent in Philly.

Humble Beginnings with the Philadelphia Phillies

If you had to ask Scott Rolen to describe his time in Philadelphia with one word, he’d choose “fantastic.”

Rolen attributes much of his success and growth as a player to his time in Philadelphia – claiming that it was a very quick and humbling experience. It did not take him long to understand that the fanbase was passionate and they cared.

The future Hall of Famer spoke about the value of the city and fanbase holding players accountable and claims that the toughness he developed while playing in Philly was something he carried on with him for the rest of his career.

Phillies fans jeer at Sandy Alcantara after he was pulled during the eighth inning of a baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies, Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2022, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Phillies Fans wave to Miami Marlins pitcher Sandy Alcantara after he was pulled during the eighth inning of a baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies, Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2022, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

The End and a New Beginning

As many fans know, Rolen’s departure from the Phillies organization was shrouded with some controversy. While addressing the media, Rolen had the opportunity to talk more about the end of his time in Philadelphia.

While he regrets how public it got, Scott did say that he and Phillies ownership have since made amends and maintain a good relationship. He mentioned a good stretch of time when there was a misunderstanding between the sides; however, he still looks very fondly fond on his time with the Phillies.

While the ending may have been ugly in the eyes of the public, Scott Rolen is very grateful for the chance to come back to Philadelphia in September.

The Hall of Famer will enter the Phillies Wall of Fame in August during the Phillies Alumni weekend and appears excited for the opportunity to join everyone at Citizens Bank Park on September 12th.

After speaking with Phillies owner John Middleton, Rolen was afforded the opportunity to join the many great former Phillies who are enshrined in their Wall of Fame, and the former Phillies third baseman is looking forward to the moment.

Hall of Fame Ceremony

Sunday, July 23rd, in Cooperstown, NY, Scott Rolen will be enshrined in the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame among some of the greatest to ever play and revolutionize the game of baseball.

Hall of Fame
27 July 2014: Joe Torre, part of the 2014 National Baseball Hall of Fame induction ceremony gives his acceptance speech and breaks down in tears at the Clark Sports Center in Cooperstown, New York.

The future Hall of Famer will be inducted alongside Fred McGriff, a former teammate of Rolen’s. Being inducted alongside McGriff is an honor for Scott Rolen, and he spoke about how he always felt like McGriff was a Hall of Famer when they played together.

Scott will be donning a Cardinals cap on his Hall of Fame plaque, not a Phillies hat. While this may not be a shock to anyone, there is certainly an intriguing “what if” scenario if Rolen and the Phillies front office had reached more favorable terms during his divisive departure in 2002.

While he may not be going in as a Phillie, I think it will be a cool moment in September when he returns to Philadelphia. My hope and belief is that any animosity between the older generation of fans has subsided, and I firmly believe there will be a great crowd for that evening’s game against the Mets.

Featured Image Mandatory Credit: Icon Sports Media