Tag Archives: jimmy rollins tribute

Thank You, Jimmy Rollins

(With apologies to non-sports fans)

Jimmy Rollins played baseball for the Philadelphia Phillies for fifteen years. He was always a good guy: good with the fans, active in the community, enthusiastic about playing, and nearly always with a smile on his face.

He also was very, very good – the best shortstop in the team’s history: the best offensive shortstop, the best defensive shortstop, the best base-running shortstop. His tenure with the team was the third longest of any athlete in Philadelphia during The Curmudgeon’s lifetime, and he was the second- or at the very least the third-best non-pitcher The Curmudgeon has seen play for his hometown team. Whether he will earn entry into baseball’s hall of fame is unclear, but he is unquestionably a legitimate candidate for such an honor.

rollinsFor at least the past decade and possibly longer, Jimmy was indisputably the most important player on the team. When he played well, the team played well – and this was often. When he didn’t play well, or when he was injured and didn’t play at all, the team faltered. He was what Reggie Jackson inaccurately said about himself: the straw that stirs the drink.

Jimmy is moving along now because, well, that’s how it goes in baseball. He’s been so good for so long that he became a very expensive player, and bad teams like the Phillies have little need for expensive players; they will be content to lose less expensively in the coming year or two. Even though he’s now getting along in years and not quite the player he once was, he’s still one of the best at what he does and well-suited to help a good team try to reach the proverbial next level.

The Curmudgeon, for one, will miss him. Jimmy played with a skill and an enthusiasm that’s rare in professional sports – when you watched him play, he truly looked like he enjoyed playing.

Imagine that: a professional athlete who looks like he actually enjoys playing. Playing. And imagine the pleasure of watching someone play at his level of excellence, with so much skill and so much enthusiasm and so much grace for so long. The Curmudgeon, though, doesn’t need to imagine it: he experienced it.

Thank you, Jimmy Rollins.