4. JIMMY ROLLINS, Shortstop
Jimmy Rollins was the Phillies 2nd Round pick in the 1996 MLB Draft, and reached the big leagues in time for a cup of coffee as the 2000’s began. It would turn out to be his decade in so many ways.
For more than 14 seasons, the man known affectionately as ‘JRoll’ was the Phillies starting shortstop. He was also the lineup catalyst, batting at the top of the order for the vast majority of that time.
In this past 2014 season, Rollins passed Mike Schmidt at the top of the Phillies all-time Hits list with a total that now stands at 2,306 hits. He is also 1st in Doubles, 2nd in Steals, 3rd in Triples, 9th in Homeruns, 3rd in Runs, 1st in At-Bats, 2nd in Games, and 6th in Walks on the club all-time lists.
Rollins finished 3rd in the 2001 NL Rookie of the Year voting, and has been a 3x NL All-Star and a 4x NL Gold Glove winner.
Prior to the 2007 season, with the Phillies having fallen just short of the postseason for 3 straight years, Rollins publicly proclaimed them as “The team to beat” that year. He then proceeded to back up his words, winning the NL Most Valuable Player award and leading the club to the NL East crown.
In 2008, Rollins won his 2nd of 3 straight Gold Gloves at shortstop, and was a catalyst as the team won just the 2nd World Series title in franchise history.
In 2009, Rollins led the team back to the World Series for a 2nd consecutive year, the only time that has happened in the 132-year history of the club. His game-winning 2-run double in the bottom of the 9th of Game 4 of the NLCS was a pivotal, career-defining clutch moment.
JRoll was traded away following this most recently completed season, sent to the Los Angeles Dodgers for a pair of pitching prospects. If either pans out, he will have helped the franchise once again.
What Jimmy Rollins did for 15 seasons is already enough to make him one of the greatest players to ever don a Phillies uniform, and should make him a serious Hall of Fame candidate one day.