Barring a rainout, which is very unlikely since Marlins Park is equipped with a roof, Jimmy Rollins
will play more games than any shortstop in Phillies history when tonight's game in Miami becomes official. This will be game No. 1,731 for Rollins at shortstop for the Phillies; he tied Larry Bowa last night.
Having been in the Phillies organization since he was drafted out of high school in 1996, Rollins was well aware of Bowa before he got to the big leagues. When he did arrive to Philadelphia after doing his time in the minor leagues, Rollins played under then-manager Larry Bowa in his first full season with the Phillies in 2001.
Rollins bursted onto the big league scene by hitting .274 with an NL-best 12 triples and 46 stolen bases. He finished third in the NL Rookie of the Year race.
As his career continued with an MVP trophy in 2007 and a World Series ring in 2008, and then when he signed a three-year contract extension this winter, Rollins said he never gave thought to the sheer number of games he had played or passing his former manager on the franchise's record book.
"Not in the games played department," Rollins said Tuesday afternoon. "Just growing up, you
knew where Larry Bowa was in the organization, you knew they won a World
Series. He was a big part of that, a leadoff hitter, a shortstop. You were just
trying to be better than Bowa and what you heard of him. That was really my
only goal from the outset; it wasn’t games played. He always talked about his
2,195 hits, so I still have work to do, he still has me there. So there are
some things I have to do to get on top of him."
Rollins has 1,978 career hits.
If the 33-year-old Rollins is able to play until age 40, he could make a run at the 3,000-hit plateau. He would need to average around 143 hits in each of the next seven seasons; he has averaged 163.4 hits in his first 12 big league seasons.
"If I play everyday and keep banging. Is it possible? Yeah," Rollins said. "It depends on how long you play. If you’re around long enough, anything’s
So if passing Bowa in games isn't a motivation, is 3,000 hits one?
is right now," Rollins said. "Let me get there first."