1. Jimmy Rollins
It’s possible that no player is more synonymous with the 2008 world champion Philadelphia Phillies team than shortstop Jimmy Rollins. If there were to be only one player from that team who ends up being honored with their number hanging in Ashburn Alley one day, I’d bet good money that it would be Rollins, the franchise all-time hits leader.
When Jimmy Rollins passed Mike Schmidt to become the Phillies’ hit king, he managed to accomplish the feat in 389 fewer games, and in some ways, it almost felt inevitable. Throughout his 15 years in Philadelphia, Rollins had been the heart and soul of the best era of Phillies baseball.
Rollins ranked in the top three in a host of offensive categories including hits (first), doubles (first), at-bats (first), total bases (second), extra-base hits (second), stolen bases (second), triples (third), singles (third) and runs scored (third). He also ranks fourth in defensive WAR, sixth in position player WAR, and ninth in home runs.
Jimmy Rollins was at his best in 2007 when he won NL MVP and sent the Phillies to the playoffs
During his best offensive season in 2007, Rollins won National League MVP honors (along with a Silver Slugger and a Gold Glove), while hitting .296/.344/.531 with 30 home runs, 41 stolen bases, and a league-leading 20 triples. He proudly declared the Phillies were the team to beat in the NL East and made good on his comments.
That season he also became the last player to join the ultra-exclusive 20-20-20-20 club. Over the course of his career, Rollins also smacked an incredible 46 leadoff home runs in his career, good for sixth all-time and second-most ever for a hitter in the National League.
In addition to his standings on the Phillies’ all-time leader boards, he boasts some impressive accolades. He has won four Gold Gloves, and a Silver Slugger in addition to winning National League MVP in 2007. Rollins was also named an All-Star three times.
Jimmy Rollins was indisputably one of the greatest Phillies in franchise history, and he should have his number 11 retired sooner rather than later.