Where to even start with Jimmy. Multiple All-Star games, multiple Gold Gloves, an MVP, and now the team hits record. His individual achievements need no defending now, and while we all had our faults with his game from time to time, the results speak for themselves. Obviously, his "team to beat" declaration before the 2007 season changed sports in Philadelphia for the better, and set off the best rivalry period in Philadelphia that I can remember. Those few years where the rivalry with the Mets was so white-hot, so personal, and so nasty, were great times. In my life, there wasn't really anything like it in Philadelphia. It can be argued though that Jimmy's high moment wasn't even 2007 though, as crazy as that sounds, but it was actually the undoing of Broxton in the 2009 Game 4 of the NLCS, when he walked everyone out of Citizens Bank Park with a gapped to right. It was a chilling moment.
Of course, I'd be remiss if I didn't bring up the World Series here too. Jimmy's part in bringing that parade to Philadelphia can't be understated. For that alone, we all owe him a debt of gratitude.
For me though, I think back to a cold, wet April morning in Flushing, Queens in 2007. It was the Mets Home Opener, and my Dad and I went up with some of his Mets' fan friends. The cookout before the game was fun, and the game was too until a late error by Jimmy pretty much sealed the game up for the Mets. We heard the mocking chants of "Jimmy Rollins" from the entire stadium, and listened to Mets fans talk about how much better Jose Reyes was. Needless to say, it was sweet that September when NL MVP Jimmy Rollins was leading his team right on by the childish Reyes and his Mets. That alone kind of defines Jimmy Rollins in Philadelphia- try and tell him he can't.
Saturday, we were in the stands again, seeing him rip a single to right field to set the hits record. It was an amazing moment as a fan. It was also kind of sad. For as bad as this team is, and as much as I'm calling for a fire-sale, it was the first moment that felt like the end to me. The end of a golden era in Philadelphia baseball is here, and it finally felt like it. As a fan, I guess all I can say to Jimmy Rollins for everything he's given Phillies fans is "thank you."