Rollins Passes Bowa, Talks 3,000 Hits
Rollins is scheduled to play his 1,731st game at shortstop for the Phillies tonight at Marlins Park, which will pass Larry Bowa (1,730) for the franchise record. Rollins has played 1,748 games for the Phillies overall, which is third-most in franchise history. Only Mike Schmidt (2,404) and Richie Ashburn (1,794) have played more.
“It’s something that wasn’t on my radar,” Rollins said before the game against the Marlins. “Most games played by a shortstop? Obviously they keep stats for everything, but that definitely wasn’t one I paid attention to. When I’m done (playing baseball) I’ll probably think about it.”
Rollins and Bowa have maintained a close relationship over the years. Bowa managed Rollins from 2000-03 and they have remained in contact since, exchanging text messages during the season and even in the offseason. Both men share a bond as Phillies legends that played the same position. They also know how to talk a little trash. A favorite is the time in 2004 when Rollins noticed Bowa strutting through the clubhouse and Rollins told Bowa he should drag his back foot a little more.
“Pimp that walk,” Rollins said.
“Why don’t you drag that back foot across home plate every once in a while?” Bowa countered.
For a long time Bowa said Rollins had a ways to go before he could be considered the greatest shortstop in Phillies history.
Bowa came around a few years ago.
“I wasn’t a great player. I was a good player,” Bowa said in 2008. “Jimmy is a great player. Yeah, I think he’s a great player.”
Asked what motivates him these days, Rollins said, “I want to work.”
He said he still would like to be remembered as one of the best shortstops to play the game, but he needs to pile up more numbers to enter that conversation. Rollins needs 22 hits to reach 2,000 for his career. He needs 213 hits to catch Bowa, which Rollins said has been a goal.
Rollins should accomplish both those feats, but what comes after that? How about 3,000 hits? It is not impossible, although it is a long shot. Rollins is on pace for 157 hits this season. He has averaged 157.8 hits per season the previous three seasons in which he has had 600 or more plate appearances, while also figuring in this season’s current pace.
If Rollins stays healthy, stays on the field and maintains that 157-hit pace he could reach 3,000 hits in 2019 when he is 40.
“Is it possible? Yeah,” Rollins said. “If I play every day and bang out. It depends how long you play. If you’re around long enough anything is possible.”
Is it motivation for him?
“Two thousand is right now,” he said. “Let me get there first.”