WITH THE Phillies set to announce that shortstop Jimmy Rollins is returning for 3 years - and potentially 4 with a vesting option in his contract - here are 10 memorable moments from his tenure with the Phillies. Entering his 12th full season, Rollins is the longest tenured athlete in the city.
Rollins makes his major league debut and goes 2-for-4, getting a hit in his first big-league at-bat and scoring two runs against Florida. "This has got to be my best day in baseball," he said that night.
Finishes third in the NL Rookie of the Year balloting. Caps a season in which he was the only NL player with a quadruple-double (doubles, triples, homers and stolen bases); was selected to the All-Star team; and played in the third-most games by a rookie in franchise history.
Begins what would become a franchise-record, 36-game hitting streak, which carries two games into the following season. It is the ninth-longest streak in baseball history and longest ever by a full-time shortstop.
Rollins makes his now- famous assertion - "I think we are the team to beat in the NL East" - during a media session with reporters. He's right. The team finishes 89-73 and beats out the Mets by a game for its first division title since 1993.
Wins the NL Most Valuable Player award after becoming the first player in history to amass at least 200 hits, 15 triples, 25 home runs and 25 stolen bases in the same season. His 212 hits are the most by a Phillie since 1975 (Dave Cash, 213). "There are two things you want to get out of this game: One is a World Series ring. Second is to be named the MVP, and that's because it means you were at your best for the entire season, and you reached the pinnacle of what you can do and were recognized for it."
Proclaims that the Phillies will win 100 games. "We can win 100 games. I'll say that right here." The Phillies would go on to win a total of 103 games and the World Series, ending the city's championship drought of 25 years.
Manager Charlie Manuel benches Rollins when he arrives after the team bus and an hour before a game against the Mets. Rollins sits for eight innings and then is used as a pinch-hitter. Rollins had been benched that June for not running out a fly ball.
"We're not going to agree on this one," Rollins said. "I agreed with him last time, but
we're not going to agree on this one."
Rollins creates firestorm when he calls Phillies fans "front-runners" during an appearance on the "Best Damn Sports Show Period." "When you're doing good, they're on your side. When you're doing bad, they're completely against you," he said.
The next day he said he wasn't calling Philadelphia a city of fair-weather fans, but he didn't back down on what he thought was negativity taken too far. "Before I was a ballplayer I was a person," he said. "So you say something as a person, forget the uniform, as a person I could say something back. But because of the uniform, I [the fans] can say anything I want to you, and that's your armor, that's your shield. It's just not true. Not at all."
With the Phillies trailing 4-3 in the bottom of the ninth, Rollins scorches a walkoff double with two outs in Game 4 of the National League Championship Series against the Dodgers. The Phillies win, 5-4. Two nights later, they win their seventh NL pennant to advance to the World Series against the Yankees.