With the not complete, but done, trade of Jimmy Rollins to the Dodgers now seemingly done, I wanted to take a moment to acknowledge one of the greatest Phillies' careers ever. When Jimmy Rollins came up in 2000, gas could be bought for around a buck, Bill Clinton was President, the Vet was still standing, I was a 17 year old junior in high school, and the Phillies stunk. It was a long, long time ago, but the arrival of Jimmy Rollins, and then Pat Burrell, were much anticipated moments that Phillies fans hoped would bring good things ahead. They did.
Four gold gloves, three All-Star Selections, two top-ten MVP finishes, the 2007 MVP award, one of the great playoff walk-off hits in club history, five NL East titles, two National League titles, and the Phillies' second World Series crown in club history later, Jimmy Rollins is being traded to LA. He's 36 now, and the team just finished last, and the trade makes a lot of sense. He's not the player he was during the World Series runs, and the team isn't what it was then, so you move on and hope for the best. The Phillies more than got their money's worth from the 1996 second round pick. Some will knit-pick at his resume and say "he never did this, he never did that," but the full body of work tells the story. Jimmy Rollins is almost certainly one of the ten greatest Phillies in the live ball era, and is the greatest shortstop in team history.
For me though, It always comes back to those 2007 and 2008 Mets games, the rivalry, and what he did for Philadelphia baseball. I remember being at Shea for the Mets' home opener in 2007, after Rollins had declared the Phillies the team to beat in the NL East, and I remember the Mets' fans and their mocking chants at Rollins. I also remember Rollins backing it up and twice breaking those fans hearts. Needless to say, I'll always love Jimmy as much for what he did to the Mets as anything else. It was a great time for baseball in the City of Brotherly Love.
Thanks for the memories, Jimmy.