Archie Bradley is preparing for his first season with the Philadelphia Phillies, but the veteran reliever is well aware of one of the franchise’s biggest icons – Jimmy Rollins.
When Bradley was drafted by the Arizona Diamondbacks with the No. 7 overall pick in 2011, he responded to a tweet from Rollins, then on the best team in the sport, and to his surprise, got an answer. Rollins wished him luck in his career, and Bradley suggested that one day he hoped to face him.
As it turned out, Bradley would face Rollins. In fact, Rollins was playing for the Los Angeles Dodgers on April 11, 2015, when Bradley made his major league debut as a starter. Bradley induced a groundout from Rollins to open six scoreless innings, on a night where he would outpitch Clayton Kershaw, the reigning National League MVP and Cy Young Award winner.
Bradley told this story on The Chris Rose Rotation, a podcast where he’ll be one of the rotating major leaguers that join the veteran baseball analyst throughout the course of the 2021 season.
Additionally, Bradley has ties to another former Phillie, outfielder Jeff Francoeur. Bradley says that he’s owned just one jersey in his life, an Atlanta Braves Francoeur jersey. Not only was Francoeur Bradley’s first major league spring training strikeout, but on May 16, 2015, he gave up his first career home run against Francoeur. The Phillies would chase Bradley after just two innings that night, winning a 7-5 game over the Diamondbacks that saw Jerome Williams get the win and Jonathan Papelbon close the game out.
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