Scott Rolen Snubs Phillies With Hall of Fame Cap Choice
When a baseball player makes the Hall of Fame, he's already done most of the hard work. One of the few things left to do is decide which team's cap he wants to have on his bronze plaque in Cooperstown.
For players who spent most or all of their careers with one team, this is an easy choice. For players who split their careers with multiple teams, however, it can be tricky to decide which team you'd rather be remembered with.
New Hall of Famer Scott Rolen, who will be inducted into the Hall of Fame Class of 2023 this summer, made his decision on Friday, and it was a surprising one.
Scott Rolen Hall of Fame Hat
While Rolen played for four teams during his 17-year career, the bulk of his success came with the first two. He debuted with the Philadelphia Phillies in 1996 and remained there until 2002, when he was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals. Rolen stayed with the Cardinals through 2007 before moving on to the Toronto Blue Jays and Cincinnati Reds.
In the end, the question was whether Rolen would go into the Hall of Fame as a Phillie or a Cardinal. Despite playing more games and achieving more of his stats with Philadelphia, the star third baseman chose St. Louis.
This is a surprising choice given that Rolen laid the groundwork for his Hall of Fame career in Philly. It's where he won NL Rookie of the Year honors in 1997 and emerged as one of the best third basemen in baseball, winning multiple Gold Gloves and hitting nearly half of his 316 career home runs.
Rolen never played in the postseason with the Phillies, however, which may have influenced his decision. He helped the Cardinals win two pennants and a World Series during his time there. He was also an All-Star every year from 2003-06 and enjoyed his best statistical season in 2004, when he finished fourth in the NL MVP voting.
It makes sense why Rolen picked St. Louis, as he probably has more fond memories there. Philadelphia is a notoriously difficult place to play and it's possible Rolen felt underappreciated there, whereas Cardinals fans are regarded as some of the best in baseball.
Still, Phillies fans probably won't appreciate getting snubbed by one of their best players in franchise history.