Scott Rolen baseball cards may not move the hobby needle like, say, a hot young prospect, but those old Rolen cards might need a dusting off in the next few years.

After all ..

Rolen spent much of his 17-year big league career on the shelf, sidelined by a string of injuries that limited him to under 150 games every year after 2003. In fact, he never even broke the 130-game barrier after 2006.

Still, when he was on the field, Rolen was one of the top ten or so third basemen of all time if you believe advanced metrics like WAR.

And, even if you’re more of a traditionalist when it comes to your baseball numbers, Rolen stands out — .281, 316 home runs, 1287 RBI, 2077 hits.

Still, Rolen has found the going a bit rough in his first three years on the Hall of Fame ballot, picking up 10.2%, 17.2%, and 35.3% of votes from 2018-2020 (as of the time of this writing). But that jump last year, coupled with a weak first-year class in 2021 could make for an interesting election this time around.

To gear up for the superstar’s next run at Cooperstown, here is a rundown of every early Scott Rolen baseball card, beginning with his 1994 minor league issues and rolling through his 1995 rookie cards.

1994 Classic Spartanburg Phillies Scott Rolen (#1)

1994 Classic Spartanburg Phillies Scott  Rolen

Classic made a name for itself in the hobby back in 1987 with their Classic Baseball Board Game and Cards — it’s an awesome collectible that has held up well with time.

Then, in the early 1990s, Classic splashed into other sports and became THE card maker of choice if you wanted to chase draft pick cards, rolling out pretty big sets as Classic/Best.

By 1994, they had dropped the “Best” and were just Classic again, issuing a set of 200 prospects, in two series.

Rolen made the cut, along with other future-legend upstarts like Alex Rodriguez, Andy Pettitte … and Michael Jordan.

The Rolen card can usually be yours for about a buck in raw condition.

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1994 Classic/Best Gold Martinsville Phillies Scott Rolen (#120)

1994 Classic Best Gold Martinsville Phillies Scott  Rolen

OK, so maybe Classic didn’t completely jettison the “Best” affiliation, issuing their 1994 Gold set under that title.

You get a different look at Rolen here, suited up as he is with the Martinsville Phillies (Rookie) rather than the Spartanburg Phillies (Single-A).

You also get a little gold foil on the card front, but the same inexpensive price.

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1994 Fleer Excel Scott Rolen (#246)

1994 Fleer Excel Scott  Rolen

By 1994, Fleer had 13 years of Major League issues under their belts, and they were deep into the fray of ever-escalating card quality … and retail prices.

Who can blame them for trying to diversify a bit, safeguard their brand by covering all the bases they could, so to speak?

Not I, that’s for sure.

So it’s little surprise to see a Scott Rolen minor league card from the Philadelphia gum maker who wasn’t allowed to include gum with their baseball cards because of Topps’ continued monopoly on that front.

This design would look right at home in the late 1950s, if you ask me, which kind of fits, since Rolen was the sort of hard-nosed, fundamentals guy that would have excelled in the middle of the 20th century (or any time, likely).

This card can bring a bit more than the Classics above, but it won’t break your bank under most circumstances.

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1994 Fleer Procards Spartanburg Phillies Scott Rolen (#1731)

1994 Procards Spartanburg Phillies Scott  Rolen

And here we have yet another Fleer product, this time a team effort with longtime minor league card maven ProCards.

This was a massive, massive effort, as evidenced by Rolen’s card number here — 1731!

And that wasn’t even halfway home for this gargantuan set that stretched to more than 4000 cards.

This is another card that’s not super expensive, but one that sees some decent action when slabbed in top grades.

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1995 Reading Phillies Scott Rolen

In 1995, Rolen moved up to Double-A, where he helped the Reading Phillies win the Eastern League championship. The team issued a set of cards to commemorate the event, and Rolen naturally was front and center.

This card doesn’t seem to be quite as plentiful as some others on the list, and it can sell for double digits in nice graded condition.

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1995 SP Top Prospects Scott Rolen (#120)

It wasn’t just Fleer among the major card manufacturers who decided to branch out into the minor league market in the mid-1990s, and Upper Deck used their SP brand to make the leap.

SP Top Prospects was a 165-card issue that took the challenge head-on, with Rolen joining the likes of Vladimir Guerrero, Todd Helton, Bartolo Colon, Nomar Garciaparra, and other future luminaries among the roster of then-hopeful prospects.

Like most of the cards on this list, you can usually grab the Rolen SP on the cheap.

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1995 SP Top Prospects Destination: The Show Scott Rolen (#DS13)

1995 SP Top Prospects Destination The Show Scott  Rolen

“Destination: The Show” cards were inserted into packs of the 1995 SP Top Prospects, featuring 20 guys who were on the verge of making their Major League debut — even though Rolen shows up in his Double-A Reading uniform.

This is another early, early card for a player who would be making serious noise in Philadelphia within a couple of years. It’s also a bit tougher than the base card, and it carries a small premium as a result.

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1995 Upper Deck Minors Scott Rolen (#78)

1995 Upper Deck Minor League Scott  Rolen

Upper Deck went even deeper into the bushes in 1995, issuing minor league cards under their base brand name.

“Minors” was a 225-card set issued in packs of 12, and featuring half a dozen insert sets.

This Rolen card shows him in what looks to be a big league uniform, so you have to figure the shot was taken during Spring Training OR when he was still with Spartanburg. It’s yet another Rolen rookie(ish) issue you can generally find for a couple dollars in nice, ungraded condition.

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1995 Upper Deck Minors Future Stock Scott Rolen (#78)

1995 Upper Deck Minor League Future Shock Scott  Rolen

Future Stock was a fully parallel insert to the Minors base set, issued one per pack.

Although obviously tougher to come by than the base, the Future Stock Rolen is still plentiful enough to keep it affordable most of the time.

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1995 Upper Deck Minor League Organizational Profiles Scott Rolen (#OP21)

1995 Upper Deck Minor League Organizational Profiles Scott  Rolen

Organizational Profiles was another bonus from the 1995 UD Minors set, inserted at a rate of one in ten hobby packs.

This Rolen has a definite airbrush, or non-licensed feel thanks to the missing team logo on his helmet, but it’s the real deal. Still, you can usually find it for $5 or less on eBay.

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1995 Best Top 100 Clearwater Phillies Scott Rolen (#89)

1995 Best Top 100 Clearwater Phillies Scott  Rolen

Rolen spent the first part of 1995 with the High-A Clearwater Phillies before he got the call up to Double-A (Reading). That’s where Best found him when they slotted him in their “Top 100” set.

The Rolen card is fairly popular in top slabbed condition, but you can usually find the full raw set for $20 or less.

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1995 Best Top 100 Best of the Best Scott Rolen (#105)

1995 Best Top 100 Best of the Best Scott  Rolen

Rolen wasn’t just one of the 100 best prospects in the game in 1995 … he was one of the “Best of the Best” according to, well, Best themselves.

This insert/subset bubbled up ten players to BOTB status and included another dude who went on to fashion a borderline Hall of Fame career — that would be Andruw Jones.

Even with a couple of near-legends, the full 10-card run plus a checklist in the same style usually can be had for $10 or less.

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1995 Bowman Foil Scott Rolen (#271)

1995 Bowman Foil Scott  Rolen

By 1995, everyone knew that Bowman was *the* place to go for rookie cards.

That’s evidenced by the fact that the first 219 cards were dedicated to just rookies and prospects (plus a checklist).

Rolen fell into the next run, 54 cards of silver-foil magic featuring just the *top* prospects from each team. The veteran dudes finally got their due in the final 165 cards of the set.

There’s definitely a Children of the Corn vibe to the whole distribution of players in this set, but this is Rolen’s first Bowman, and that’s noteworthy in its own right.

It’s also the first card on this list that regularly sells for more than a buck or two even in raw condition.

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1995 Bowman Gold Foil Scott Rolen (#271)

1995 Bowman Gold Foil Scott  Rolen

Gold was Bowman’s first pack-inserted parallel, available for each of the 54 foil-clad youngsters, slotted at one in six hobby packs and one in four jumbos.

This Rolen is less plentiful than the “base” foil RC, but still not all that tough to find.

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1995 Bowman’s Best Blue Scott Rolen (#87)

1995 Bowman's Best Blue Refractor Scott  Rolen

Bowman’s Best was one of the landmark sets of the mid-1990s, with rookies and prospects like Rolen, Andruw Jones, and especially Vladimir Guerrerro headlining the 90-card “Blue” rookies part of the issue. Veterans got their own space in the 90-card “Red” subset, and “Mirror Image” paired a young and an old on each of 15 cards.

Rolen, of course, is blue here on one of his most popular rookie cards.

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1995 Bowman’s Best Blue Refractor Scott Rolen (#87)

All of the 1995 Bowman’s Best cards are available in Refractor parallels, which were inserted in about one in four packs, overall. That leaves this as maybe the scarcest of all Rolen rookies, and certainly a budget-cruncher if you’re set on one in a top grade.

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1995 Bowman Scott Rolen Blue #87 PSA 9

$35.00
End Date: Thursday 11/26/2020 22:23:55 EST
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2020 Triple Threads Scott Rolen Auto/relic 5/9

$17.50 (4 Bids)
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Scott Rolen, 2000 upper deck, game jersey certified auto card

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