The National Baseball Hall of Fame has elected Scott Rolen to its roster of super star players. Rolen was the sole inductee for this particular 2023 vote. The 17-year third baseman included being the 1997 National League Rookie of the Year and his roster of teams over his career was the Phillies, Cardinals, Blue Jays and the Reds. Despite being named to 7 All-Star teams and 8 Gold Glove awards, some of us in the hobby of sports collectibles know nothing of Rolen other than perhaps his name.
Some collectors had no Scott Rolen cards to speak of, or they might not have known it at the time. Whether you question the decision is a matter that is up to each fan and collector alike to decide. Some of the sales data in Rolen’s rookie and later cards have exploded.
Very few buyers and sellers had been active in the Scott Rolen card market prior to this announcement, but as you would expect eBay sales saw a major jump in Rolen card sales on the news. You can expect the grading firms to confirm that the next flood of older or retired players is Scott Rolen.
Whether or not Rolen should be a true Hall of Famer when so many other more well-known athletes are currently being skipped over performance enhancing drugs or on/off-field scandals is an ongoing debate. Pete Rose, Barry Bonds, A-Rod, Roger Clemens and many other athletes come to mind. It probably didn’t help his overall name recognition that Rolen’s career started shortly after the baseball strike and that his career was coming of age during the home run era of Sosa, McGwire, Bonds and others.
If any of this sounds familiar and if you are looking for some recent past similar trends, the sales after the Fred McGriff HOF announcement were also through the roof.
After a search at Baseball-Reference and the Baseball Hall of Fame, here are some other key issues to consider about Role. He is listed as the 19th third baseman to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. Here are some of his additional stats:
- lifetime .281 career batting average (3 seasons above .300);
- 2,077 hits (including 517 doubles and 43 triples);
- 1,287 runs batted in;
- 1,211 runs;
- 316 home rums
- .490 slugging percentage
- on-base plus slugging percentage of .854;
- 2006 World Series ring
- and 70.1 WAR in 17 seasons.
Without a surprise, Topps Now already has a card selected for $9.99 per card (Image below by Topps). We will not know how many Topps NOW cards were printed in total until the order window closes. It was not without notice that the Topps Now prices were above many card sales prices from Rolen’s playing days. So what about elsewhere?
There are some significant eBay stats that have accumulated since Rolen’s HOF announcement. Of the items that ended as of mid-day January 25 and January 24, the search “Scott Rolen Rookie” inside eBay’s Sold listings was nearly 400 items. The search term “Scott Rolen” alone without “rookie” was already nearly 800 sold items. Less than 30 “Scott Rolen” (all items) sold on a typical day more than a week before Christmas.
Most of the PWCC Marketplace sales in recent years (through 2022) have sold for prices under $100 with a few exceptions and not including other stars included with the card description. PWCC’s most expensive Scott Rolen card was a 1995 SP Top Prospects Scott Rolen Rookie Card #130 (graded PSA 10 GEM MINT) with a mere population of 12 cards at the Gem Mint rate, and that was a weekly auction sale on 3/17/2021 for $510.00 after the buyer’s premium.
The COMC.com site last showed 2,418 Scott Rolen lots available for purchase.
The Heritage Auctions website has only had 61 items which have sold over the years in its entire database sell with “Scott Rolen” in the search. Of those, more than 50 of the items were multi-player signed items like team balls, card boxes, and other items outside of his cards.
Figuring out the rest of this is all up to you.