James Calvin "Jimmy" Rollins was born on November 27 1978 in Oakland, California. Nicknamed "J-Roll," Rollins is an All-Star Shortstop for the Philadelphia Phillies. He is widely considered to be one of the best shortstops in the game.
He is known for having great power for a leadoff hitter. Aside from his offense, Rollins is a solid defensive shortstop, with few errors and a powerful arm. His versatility is evident in his stolen base statistics and also stretching singles into doubles, triples, and in-the-park home runs. Rollins is one of only 4 people in MLB history to achieve a 20-20-20-20 Club season, hitting 38 doubles, 20 triples, 30 home runs, and stealing 41 bases in 2007.
Rollins owns the longest hitting streak in Philadelphia Phillies history at 38 games, achieved during August 2005–April 2006. His streak is the longest in the majors since 1987, when Paul Molitor hit safely in 39 consecutive games, and the longest in the National League since Pete Rose's 44-game streak in 1978. It is currently the eighth longest streak in Major League Baseball history. Rollins donated the batting helmet he wore during the streak to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown following a request from the Hall of Fame to document the accomplishment.
Coming into his rookie season of 2001, there was a lot of hype surrounding Rollins and his blistering speed. Many Phillies fans were excited at the thought of having an up and coming lead-off man of his potential. He didn't disappoint and had a league-leading 46 stolen bases that season. Rollins was also the Phillies only representative at the 2001 All-Star game. He finished 3rd in NL Rookie of the Year balloting, and was rated 5th-best rookie in the major leagues, 3rd-best in NL, by Baseball America.
In 2002, Rollins finished 2nd among NL shortstops with a .980 fielding percentage, 3rd in total chances (695), 4th in assists, (504) and 5th in putouts (226). He led all NL shortstops in stolen bases and finished 3rd in runs (82), 4th in hits (156) and walks (53) and 5th in doubles (33) and RBI (60). Was voted as starting shortstop for NL All-Star team (2-2, 2 R), and became the first shortstop in Major League history and first Phillie in franchise history to make the All-Star team in his first two Major League seasons. He was named Best Defensive Shortstop in the NL and 3rd-best NL Baserunner by Baseball America. He also participated in MLB vs Japan All-Star Series in November in Japan.
Rollins struggled in the first half of the season (.259 AVG, .744 OPS, 9 HR, 40 K) while hitting leadoff, but improved after the All-Star break with a .319 AVG, .965 OPS, 18 HR, and 15 K's. He set the Phillies' franchise record for home runs in a season by a shortstop with 25, a record he would later break. Rollins' 25 home runs and 83 RBI's were both career highs for him.
Rollins 25 HR combined with Chase Utley's 32 HR in 2006 became the first pair of middle-infielders in National League history to hit at least 25 home runs each in the same season.
In January, 2007, Rollins stated: "The Mets had a chance to win the World Series last year. Last year is over. I think we are the team to beat in the NL East, finally. But, that's only on paper." It was considered a significant assertion, especially given that the New York Mets had won the division in 2006 with relative ease. The claim was widely reported, often without the second part of the quote ("only on paper"). Rollins refused to back down from the quote even as the Phillies began the season with a slow start.
On June 28, Rollins had a four hit game against the Cincinnati Reds, including a game tying triple. The triple was Rollins' 10th, which gave him his 5th career quadruple double - 10 or more doubles, triples, home runs and stolen bases in one season.
2007 has proven to be Rollins' best season thus far. His first half numbers included a .286 batting average, with 53 RBI and 16 home runs. Many analysts felt he was snubbed from the All-Star Game, arguing that he had better first half numbers than the National League's starter at shortstop, Jose Reyes.
Rollins was named Bank of America Presents the National League Player of the Week for August 27-September 2, 2007. His .556 on-base percentage ranked second in the league, he ranked third with a .909 slugging percentage and he tallied seven RBI. He recorded seven consecutive multi-hit games from August 26–31 as part of an 18-for-32 stretch, and he homered in back-to-back games on August 28 and 29 during the Phillies' four-game sweep of the Mets that put them within two games of the division lead. Tourneau, the world's largest watch store, has given Jimmy a luxury Swiss Tourneau timepiece in recognition of the achievement.
On September 25 against the Atlanta Braves, Rollins hit his 30th home run to record the 50th 30-30 season in Major League history. He is also the first player in MLB history to collect at least 200 hits, 15 triples, 25 homers and 25 stolen bases in one season. On September 28 against the Washington Nationals, he recorded his 706th at-bat of the season, breaking a 27-year-old Major League record set by Willie Wilson of the Kansas City Royals in 1980; Rollins finished out the season with 716 at-bats. Rollins came around to score his National League-leading 137th run on a double by Chase Utley. On the last day of the 2007 season, Rollins became the fourth player to collect at least 20 doubles, 20 triples, 20 home runs, and 20 stolen bases in one year (and the second in 2007 along with Detroit's Curtis Granderson) when he hit his 20th triple of the year in a 6-1 win over the Washington Nationals that clinched the National League East division championship for the Phillies—their first post-season berth since the 1993 World Series. Rollins appeared in all 162 games the Phillies played in 2007 and also set an all-time record for at-bats in a season with 716.
Rollins led the NL with 139 runs a new career high. Among other career highs he set in 2007 were hits (212), AB (716), Triples (20), RBI's (94), AVG (.296), SLG (.531), & OPS (.875). He was also awarded his first ever Gold Glove Award.
Jimmy has an annual bowling tournament that features teammates, celebrities, and music stars. The money that is raised is used to help benefit the Arthritis Foundation. It is held at Lucky Strike Lanes in Philadelphia.
Media and Endorsements
- Jimmy appeared alongside teammate Ryan Howard on The David Letterman Show on April 10, 2007.
- He is a spokesperson for SPARQ Training and has been in several of their videos.
- Rollins is also a representative athlete for Nike Baseball and has his own signature glove, the "Nike Pro Gold Flash FG."
- He has a "Phan Club" in Citizens Bank Park called "J-Roll's Bakery."
- His favorite number is 6, but uses his second favorite number, 11, because Doug Glanville had 6 when Jimmy joined the team. Glanville has sinced retired, and Ryan Howard has number 6.
- Has a brother, Antwon, who had played with the Texas Rangers and the Montreal Expos.
- Owns his own music label called "Bay Sluggas Inc (BSI)." The official website of the label is http://www.myspace.com/baysluggasinc Their first signed group is "The League." Rollins said that two singles are expected to be released before the CD is out in January 2008.
- Said his favorite song is "So Fresh, So Clean" by Outkast.
- His idol growing up was Rickey Henderson.
A true five-tool player, Rollins can hit for power and average, and is a menace on the basepaths.
- 2007 NL MVP
- NL All-Star (2001–02, 2005)
- Selected by the Philadelphia Phillies in the 2nd round of the free-agent draft (June 4, 1996 - signed June 24, 1996).
- Horn, Bradford, "Documenting the Game's History Requires the Generosity and Support of Players and Teams", Memories & Dreams, (April–May 2007, Volume 29, Number 2), page 9.
- Rollins, Phillies confident about chances in '07