Despite his diminutive size, Jimmy Rollins always believed he could hit a baseball.
Turns out he’s been good enough to amass more hits in a Phillies uniform than any other player.
Rollins singled in the fifth to pass Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt to become the Phillies’ hits leader, leading Philadelphia to a 7-4 win over the Chicago Cubs on Saturday.
Rollins got hit No. 2,235 off Edwin Jackson, sending a 3-1 pitch into right field to open the fifth. The game was then delayed for an on-field celebration.
The 5-foot-8 shortstop never let his stature deter him.
“That’s something my mom and dad taught me when I’m young,” he said. “(I’m) probably not going to be biggest guy, but that doesn’t mean you have to be weak, doesn’t mean you don’t have confidence. And then size isn’t really going to matter. I’ve always had that belief in myself and without it I wouldn’t have been here.”
Rollins made his debut with the Phillies on Sept. 17, 2000, and has played his entire career in Philadelphia.
“To be the all-time hits leader, that speaks for itself,” Philadelphia manager Ryne Sandberg said. “It was well worth it. Fourteen years of effort with one uniform in a lot of ways that’s old school.”
Said Cubs manager Rick Renteria: “He’s put together what is potentially a Hall of Fame career. He’s a credit to Philadelphia and the Phillies. I think he’s admired all over.”
Schmidt, a Phillies TV analyst, retrieved Rollins’ bat and greeted the 2007 N.L. MVP with a high-five and hug at first base. The entire Phillies team then came out from the dugout to offer congratulatory hugs and handshakes.
After the Phillies left the field, Schmidt took Rollins’ hand and held it in the air as fans cheered.
Schmidt said Rollins should get “definite consideration” for the Hall of Fame right now and believes Rollins could land in Cooperstown with continued solid play for three or four more years.
“He knows talent, that’s pretty cool,” Rollins said.
Clearing the bases
Cardinals RHP Adam Wainwright will skip a turn in the rotation to allow tendinitis in the back of his pitching elbow to subside. … Angels manager Mike Scioscia attended the funeral for former pitcher Bob Welch and missed his teams’ game against the Braves. Bench coach Dino Ebel filled in as the manager. … The Blue Jays have activated RHP Sergio Santos from the disabled list to fill out an injury-depleted bullpen and optioned OF Darin Mastroianni to Triple-A.