Jimmy Rollins Month

Remembering Jimmy Rollins’ unbelievable 38-game hitting streak

It started in the ninth inning of a Phillies blowout against the San Francisco Giants on Aug. 23, 2005. While it had been a good day for the Phillies offense – they were leading 9-2 – shortstop Jimmy Rollins had a tough game to that point, going 0-for-4 with two strikeouts.

Jimmy Rollins has the most hits in Phillies history. (Mark Goldman/Icon Sportswire)

In fact, coming into that game, Rollins had been in the midst of a brutal stretch. He slashed .151/.189/.198 in 20 games so far in the month and had not looked the part of the star shortstop and leader of the team that he had become.

Rollins came to the plate and, from the left side, hit a double to the gap in right-center to drive in Tomas Perez and give the Phillies a 10-2 lead. That hit started one of the signature stretches of Rollins’ career: his 38-game hitting streak.

Since Joe DiMaggio’s 56-game hitting streak came to an end in 1941, it has looked like one of the most unbreakable records in professional sports. In today’s era of rising home runs and strikeout numbers, that looks to be truer than ever before.

But after that ninth inning double in late August, Rollins caught fire. He hit .385 over his next 35 games which took him through the end of the season. During that stretch, Rollins had 16 walks and 16 strikeouts, and 25 of his 60 hits went for extra bases.

Rollins’ streak helped to fuel a 21-16 Phillies run to end the 2005 season. Despite Rollins’ best efforts, the Phillies finished just one game back of the Houston Astros for the NL Wild Card spot, and two games behind the Atlanta Braves for the lead in the NL East. But this stretch may have been the ultimate preview of what was to come for Rollins and the Phillies two years later in 2007.

During that offseason, people debated whether or not Rollins’ streak would count even if he matched DiMaggio, because it would happen over two seasons. And while Rollins got hits in the first two games of the 2006 season, he went hitless in the third and finished with a 38-game hit streak.

He may never make the Hall of Fame, but Rollins’ streak is just one part of a legendary career that cements his name in baseball history. And in his classic style, Rollins showed confidence to reporters in his ability to do it again after the game in which his streak ended.

“I had a chance to do it and I came up short,” Rollins said. “I still have another chance. I have a lot of games left.”

Rollins’ hit streak, which is the eighth-longest in Major League Baseball history, remains the longest in baseball since Paul Molitor hit in 39 straight in 1987. In fact, the closest player to matching Rollins since was his teammate Chase Utley, who hit in 35 consecutive games in 2006.

Since Utley’s streak ended, Dan Uggla and Whit Merrifield are the only players with streaks lasting more than 30 games. It seems unlikely that anyone will pass Rollins, let alone reach DiMaggio’s incredible mark.

“It was something that fell upon me”, Rollins said. “It was a blessing to be a
part of.”


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