Jimmy Rollins passes Mike Schmidt for Phillies' hit mark
3-time all-star shortstop hit No. 2,235 off Cubs' Jackson
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 inning Saturday to pass Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt to become the Phillies' hits leader and Domonic Brown capped the inning with a three-run homer, leading Philadelphia to a 7-4 win over the Chicago Cubs.
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.
"It was very cool," said Rollins.
The five-foot-eight 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."
Schmidt, a Phillies TV analyst for Sunday games, retrieved Rollins's bat and greeted the 2007 National League 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's hand and held it in the air. Fans cheered and gave the duo a standing ovation as fireworks erupted from the large video board in left field.
"I told him, 'Congrats, it couldn't happen to a better guy," Schmidt said later in the game. "I'm glad I was here. My heart is pounding."
Schmidt had doubts that any player would break his hits record in notoriously tough Philadelphia and in the era of free agency. But Rollins's mentality on and off the field, Schmidt says, allowed him to do it.
"He's very comfortable in his own skin," Schmidt said. "He's got a nice, short stride and stays relaxed [at the plate]. He's a great clutch hitter, tremendous, much better than me. One of the great compliments you can pay a hitter is [to] say I want him up when the game is on the line."
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.
Rollins was drafted in the second round of the 1996 draft and made his debut with the Phillies on Sept. 17, 2000. He got his first hit that day, a triple off Chuck Smith, at Veterans Stadium.
In 15 years with the Phillies, Rollins has won four Gold Gloves, and made three all-star teams. He was a member of the club's 2008 World Series championship team.
Rollins already tops Philadelphia's doubles list with 466, and he is in the top 10 of nearly every offensive category in club history.
He entered Saturday second in extra-base hits (782), total bases (3,539), games (2,014), at-bats (8,327), and third in steals (435), runs (1,280) and triples (109).
Rollins is one of 19 players in major league history with at least 400 doubles, 100 triples and 200 home runs. He is fourth all-time with 46 leadoff homers.