It’s not hard to picture Jimmy Rollins rounding second base on his way to a head-first slide into third after hitting a ball in the outfield gap. In fact, that very play — the triple — was one of the signature plays of the shortstop’s major-league career.
Rollins, who played for the Philadelphia Phillies from 2000 until 2014, is the franchise leader in triples since the start of the live-ball era with 111. He added four more in two seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers and Chicago White Sox for a career total of 115.
The former Phillies leadoff hitter obviously totaled many three-base hits throughout his career, but some certainly stuck out more than others. Let’s take a look at some of the biggest and best triples throughout the career of Jimmy Rollins:
No. 5: Staring down Joe West
Although Rollins was no longer a Phillie when he hit this triple in 2015, this moment became one of the more viral of his career. One day after San Francisco Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner and umpire Joe West got into a heated staring match, Rollins jokingly stared West down after sliding into third base for the Dodgers. This humorous call for timeout may not have been an extremely crucial one, but Rollins’ triple and subsequent stare made for a classic moment.
No. 4: 100th career triple
Rollins reached a huge milestone in 2011, hitting his 100th career triple off St. Louis Cardinals reliever Jason Motte in the bottom of the ninth inning. The one-out triple drove in Carlos Ruiz and began the start of a late comeback, but the Phillies ultimately fell short by a run.
No. 3: Tying it up himself
Down one run in the bottom of the ninth with two outs, Rollins changed the game against Washington Nationals reliever Chad Cordero in July of 2007. He drove a ball into left-center field. The outfielders misplayed it to give Rollins a triple, and Phillies star scored on a throwing error to tie the game 5-5. Ryan Howard later hit a walk-off home run in the 14th inning, but it couldn’t have happened without the big play from the team’s leadoff man.
No. 2: First career hit
Wearing No. 29 on his jersey, Rollins made his first mark in the majors in 2001 with a triple. After Rollins lined a ball into the right-field corner, play-by-play commentator Harry Kalas told Phillies fans to “watch him fly” as the rookie reached third for his first career hit.
No. 1: The 20-20-20-20 club
In his final plate appearance of the 2007 season, Rollins was one triple away from becoming the fourth player to join the “20-20-20-20 club,” a group of hitters with 20 home runs, 20 doubles, 20 triples and 20 stolen bases in a season. “J-Roll” did not disappoint in his last chance. He lined a ball into right field, and stretched the hit into a sliding triple. The Phillies clinched the National League East with a win in that game, and Rollins was named the NL MVP after the season.
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