The longtime leadoff hitter, Jimmy Rollins, was first up for retirement ceremonies this past year.
Drafted by the Phillies in the second round of the Major League Baseball draft in 1996, Rollins was 46th overall.
Jimmy, nicknamed J-Roll, began his minor league baseball career with the Martinsville Phillies which was a rookie-league team in the Phillies organization. With a low batting average and at the age of 18, he got promoted to the Phillies’ low-A affiliate, the Piedmont Boll Weevils in 1997. In 1998, he earned a spot on the Phillies’ high-A affiliate, the Clearwater Threshers. The next year, 1999, Rollins was promoted to the Phillies’ Double-A Reading affiliate and late in the season was promoted to their then-Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre affiliate.
Jimmy was called up to the Phillies ballclub in 2000 during the September call-ups, making his Major League Baseball debut on September 17, 2000. He played with the Phillies from the years 2000-2014, then the Los Angeles Dodgers for 2015 and the Chicago White Sox for 2016. He retired as a Phillie.
During J-Roll’s career, he received many awards and recognitions, including National League All-Star in 2001, 2002 and 2005; National League MVP in 2007; Silver Slugger Award in 2007; Gold Glove Award in 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2012; Roberto Clemente Award in 2014; World Series Champion in 2008, and more.
Rollins had 470 stolen bases, 231 home runs, 936 RBI, an average of .264, an on-base percentage of .324 across 9,294 at-bats on his career.
Jimmy holds the Phillies’ club record for their longest hitting streak of 38 games and not so surprisingly, is also the all-time hits leader.
His retirement ceremony was held on May 4, 2019, at Citizens Bank Park. After a beautiful ceremony, Rollins decided he was going to leave the field his way. He donned a glove, put on his Phillies jersey and cap, and took the field at short for one final time. After Jean Segura ran out to Jimmy and hugged a few players on his way out, Jimmy tipped his cap and headed to the dugout.
What a way to retire for such a great guy and a great player.
Next up, we have beloved second baseman Chase Utley.