Jimmy Rollins is one of the two longest-tenured players with a single team in all of baseball. Credit: Getty Images
Mike Schmidt can relax and play some golf. The greatest Phillie in franchise history has been waiting for Jimmy Rollins to surpass him for the most hits ever for the club that was established in 1883.
When Rollins laced a single to right Saturday for hit number 2,235, Schmidt, who is a Phillies TV analyst for Sunday games, picked up Rollins bat and hugged the diminutive enigma, who is in his 15th season as the Phillies shortstop. During that period, Rollins has experienced the highs (a 2008 World Series title) and lows (the last years of the Vet and, well, now).
Let’s take a look at J-Roll’s top five accomplishments as a Phillie.
1. Rollins beats Jonathan Broxton and the Dodgers
With the Phillies down by a run with two on and two out Rollins drilled a gapper to easily score Eric Bruntlett and Carlos Ruiz. It was the turning point of the 2009 NLCS, which the Phillies won in five games. It was one of the biggest hits in Phillies history. It wasn’t surprising since Rollins loves the big stage and revels in being a redlight hitter.
2. Rollins’ rules in 2007
J-Roll capped his ‘07 MVP season by hitting his 20th triple on the final day of the season, when the Phillies clinched their first division title since 1993. It was one of many huge hits Rollins had, while leading the Phillies to an unlikely playoff berth after the club started 4-11 and were seven games out of first with 17 games to play.
3. Rollins saves Lidge’s save streak and seals 2008 division title
Brad Lidge would have one blemish on his 2008 season if it weren’t for Jimmy Rollins. J-Roll dove to his left with one out and a man on third in the ninth against the Nationals. J-Roll flipped to Chase Utley, who fired a strike to Ryan Howard. End of game, beginning of NL East division championship celebration!
4. Rollins sets Phillies hit record
In an age of when stars are carpetbaggers, it isn’t easy for players to stick around and break franchise records but Rollins, who loves wearing red pinstripes, eclipsed the iconic Schmidt. 2,235 hits for one team is impressive.
5. J-Roll makes like Nostradamus
It wasn’t a game-winning homer or a stellar defensive play but when Rollins told the media in January of 2007 that the Phillies were the team to beat, he backed it up as his teams roared back from oblivion to beat the choking Mets. “I ain’t no prophet, I’m a baseball player,” Rollins said. But Rollins was certainly the leader of the greatest team in franchise history.