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Mt. Rushmore of Philly Sports Icons: Jimmy Rollins

Austin Darrow | CNBNewsnet

 

The final piece of the Mt. Rushmore of Philly Sports Icons is here. Allen Iverson, Brian Dawkins and Harry Kalas are already there and now it’s time to reveal the final piece.

Jimmy Rollins, “J-Roll”

A second round pick in the 1996 MLB Draft, Rollins was a born franchise player. Rollins was in the Minor Leagues till 2001 and the Phillies were in desperate need of him.

The 2000 Phillies season was disastrous, 65-97 and dead last in the NL East. Than a ray of sun shined through the clouds and Rollins was called up the next season.

The Phillies would see three losing seasons during Rollins tenure with the Phillies; 2002, 2013 and 2014. They also never finished worse than third in the NL East up until the 2013 season.

Rollins’ individual achievements speaks for itself. Where do you start when talking about his accolades?

In his first season as the everyday shortstop, Rollins made it to the Mid-Summer Classic and finished third in ROY voting. He would make two more All-Star Games after that.

Rollins was always up for MVP and finally brought the prestigious award home in the 2007 season. That was a magical season for Philadelphia, no doubt.

Rollins started the season off by his bold prediction of saying the Phillies were the team to beat in the NL East. Rollins was considered the second best shortstop behind the New York Mets, Jose Reyes.

Rollins quieted that debate by tearing up the NL and the Mets collapsing and blowing a 7 game division lead. Rollins led the Phillies to their first playoff berth since 1993.

Rollins led the league in triples and runs scored and took home the Gold Glove and Silver Slugger. Rollins would also join the 20-20-20-20 club (20 Triples, 20 Doubles, 20 Home-Runs, and 20 Stolen Bases). Only three other players are in that club.

Than one season later Rollins would lead the Phillies to a World Series title and giving Philadelphia 6 years of winning baseball from 2007-12.

Rollins’ greatest moment came in Game 4 of the 2009 NLCS. I remember it like it was yesterday because I was in attendance. It’s one of the first moments that pops into your head when thinking about him.

Rollins ropes a two-run walk-off double off the Dodgers closer, Jonathon Broxton.  

I get chills watching the video every time. The joy he brought that place in one swing was incredible.

After that they lost the World Series and the Phillies had a dynasty that never was.

Rollins became the Phillies All-Time Hits Leader in 2014 surpassing Mike Schmidt. After that season, it was the end of the Rollins era in Philadelphia.

Being a fan of Rollins my entire life, it makes me cringe not seeing him in the red pinstripes anymore. He could’ve played his entire career out in Philadelphia, but I get it, we needed to get rid of the core guys to rebuild and start over.

Rollins now is a free agent with no team willing to sign him. I can see him signing with the Phillies to retire as one. Rollins’ accolades are Hall of Fame worthy. He will be getting the call to Cooperstown down the road.

There you have it, my Mt. Rushmore of Philly Sports Icons: Allen Iverson, Brian Dawkins, Harry Kalas and Jimmy Rollins.

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