Scott Rolen is considered one of the greatest third basemen in modern baseball. The slick-fielding Gold Glove Award winner was also one of the best power-hitting bats at the hot corner. As the 1997 National League Rookie of the Year, he has long been on the radar of collectors. Over the years, clear favorites have emerged amongst the best Scott Rolen baseball cards, including rookies, autographs and other chase cards that were produced during his career.
Scott Rolen's spectacular play at third base and ability to hit for power immediately drew comparisons to former Phillies great Mike Schmidt. He would eventually pair with Albert Pujols during his time with the Cardinals, helping the franchise win the 2006 World Series over the favored Tigers. Rolen played out the last years of his career with the Blue Jays and Reds, accumulating career statistics that make him a strong candidate for the Baseball Hall of Fame.
The first Scott Rolen cards appeared in 1995 Bowman products, but it did not take long for other card manufacturers of the day to catch up to Topps and add him to even more products.
During the first half of his career, Rolen was an elite player who appeared with regularity in the best insert and autograph checklists. As his career came to a close, Rolen had a less prominent place in the hobby, most often relegated to base sets. Even with the disparity between the two halves of his career, collectors still have some great Scott Rolen cards to track down.
Carrying over from his last years in baseball, Rolen's kept a limited presence in the baseball card market of late. That would likely change in a hurry if the Hall of Fame came calling.
Top 10 Scott Rolen Baseball Cards
Shop for specific cards or check values using the eBay links. Bolded sets or players go directly to detailed profiles.
10. 2011 Topps Diamond Dig Diamond Die-Cut Scott Rolen #DDC-149
2011 Topps celebrated the card manufacturer's 60th anniversary. During their 40th and 50th anniversary sets, which came in 1991 and 2001, Topps included buyback cards from previous Topps sets. For 2011, the card giant still gave collectors the opportunity to get cards from previous sets, only collectors were given "Diamond Dig" codes to redeem online.
Collectors could redeem the codes for older cards, but were also randomly awarded die-cut cards from an exclusive set. There were base die-cut cards and a black parallel numbered to 60 copies. This is the best Scott Rolen card from the later years of his career. While there is not a print run on the base version, they can be very tricky to find.
9. 2001 Topps Heritage Scott Rolen #334 SP
Heritage is one of Topps' most popular card releases each year. The product's 2001 premiere offered short-printed cards that remain popular to this day. While there are plenty of Scott Rolen inserts and chase cards from his first years in the league, few are as popular as his base SP card. Beyond the collectability, it's hard to find a more aesthetically pleasing card.
8. 1997 Bowman's Best Autograph Scott Rolen #194
Scott Rolen had several early important autographs, but his appearances as a signer in the two 1997 Bowman sets are highly valued by collectors. Since Bowman's Best has a little higher quality, it gets the nod here. There are certainly deeper autograph sets that were released in 1997, but the Bowman's Best checklist includes Derek Jeter, Tony Gwynn, and Paul Molitor on top of the Rolen signature. This card was far more expensive in the 2000s, but it is now a very affordable option for collectors no matter the budget.
In fact, most of the Scott Rolen autographs are quite inexpensive.
7. 1997 Pinnacle Certified Scott Rolen #112
Pinnacle Certified was the reincarnation of the popular Select Certified MLB release from 1995 and 1996. The two products were very similar, but there are some slight differences. As in prior years, 1997 featured a base set along with several different parallels at varying degrees of difficulty. The main difference was that the print runs and odds of the parallels were passed on to collectors in previous editions, but the numbers for some of the parallels were never officially released. For collectors searching for Rolen cards from Certified, the different parallels offer a wide range of values, with the lower print runs naturally commanding the highest prices. There are also similar cards for Rolen in 1997 Totally Certified.
6. 2003 Topps Tribute Team Tribute Triples Albert Pujols, Jim Edmonds, Scott Rolen Relic #TTT-PER
The peak of Rolen's career was spent playing with the Cardinals as a part of the MV3, which consisted of first baseman Albert Pujols and centerfielder Jim Edmonds. On the field, the trio anchored one of the best MLB lineups, but also commanded attention in the baseball card hobby. The three appeared on several different cards together, including base cards, autographs and relics. The autographs generally have very low print runs, and given the presence of Albert Pujols, have very high price tags. This Team Tribute Triples relic card has become a happy median for Rolen and Cardinal collectors looking for cards of the trio. The Tribute card is not serial numbered, but has limited availability and costs far more than the average relic from this era.
5. 2004 Topps Heritage Real Ones Autograph Scott Rolen
Rolen signed for dozens of different sets early in his career, but the quantity dwindled as his career progressed. However, the quality of the later autographs was strong. Collectors have a wide array of options from some great products, but Rolen's Topps Heritage autograph is the standout choice. Many of Rolen's autographs from the mid-2000s are sticker autographs that are not always well blended into the design of the card. Heritage autographs are desirable given the on-card signatures and throwback design. Collectors wanting more of a challenge, or those with a higher budget, can look for the red signature version hand-numbered to just 55 copies.
4. 2007 Topps World Champions Relics Scott Rolen #WCR10 Jersey #/100
Topps created a relic insert for the World Series winners starting with the 2004 Red Sox in the 2005 set. The first few World Champions relic cards had long odds and were quickly scooped up by fans as permanent additions to their collections. This is one of Rolen's toughest cards to find, and definitely one of his more costly ones, too. The Cardinals World Series Champion set also includes cards of Albert Pujols, Adam Wainwright and Yadier Molina.
3. 1998 Topps Stadium Club Co-Signers Autographs Scott Rolen, Derek Jeter #CS4
Scott Rolen appeared in the first three Stadium Co-Signers sets starting in 1997 with fellow Phillie Gregg Jefferies, and running through 1999 when he was paired with Alex Rodriguez. The most successful pairing in the three-year run is his 1998 and 1999 card with Yankees legend Derek Jeter. There is no serial numbering on either dual signature card, but the 1998 card is surprisingly amongst the most common groupings according to the odds provided by Topps at the time of this product's release. The Co-Signers Rolen/Jeter duo is more expensive than the standard Scott Rolen autographs, but can also be viewed as a bargain to some degree considering it is one of the most affordable Derek Jeter autographs. Either way, this is a great card with two Hall of Fame-worthy player signatures.
2. 1995 Bowman's Best Scott Rolen RC #B87
1995 Bowman's Best is the sophomore edition of the long-running Topps product. The checklist was split evenly between 90 prospect and 90 veterans, each portion of the set with its own numbering and background color. Rolen is actually part of the Blue prospect subset since he did not make his MLB debut until 1996. The base version of the Scott Rolen rookie card is popular and one of his most sought-after cards. In addition, the limited Refractor version, shown below, is very difficult to find and expensive, especially the high-grade copies.
1. 1995 Bowman Scott Rolen RC #271
The mid-1990s marked the start of the Bowman brand being associated with prospect cards. The 1995 Bowman set was one of the best in that initial run of prospect-heavy sets with rookie cards of Rolen, Andruw Jones and Vladimir Guerrero. This Scott Rolen rookie card appears in the Foil subset, which were exclusively prospect cards. Beyond the regular Silver Foil, collectors can also track down the Gold Foil version of this card, inserted at just four per hobby box. There is a slight premium on the Gold Foil cards, but both versions are relatively affordable in raw form. However, high-grade copies of the Gold Foil card can be pricey.