It hasn’t always been pretty, but Jimmy Rollins has solidified his place in Philadelphia Phillies history. As if a win wasn’t good enough, he decided to etch his name in the record books.
Rollins tied legend Cal Ripken Jr. with 14 consecutive opening day starts at shortstop. In the same day that he made MLB history, Rollins also crushed his 200th career home run. The feat propelled him into a category of 18 other players who have at the very minimum 400 doubles, 100 triples and 200 homers. To make matters even better, his 200th home run just so happened to be a grand slam that was the eventual deciding factor in the win 14-10 against the Texas Rangers.
The 35-year-old has made every opening day start since 2001. It’s tough to say if he will be able to break Ripken’s record in 2015, although he does have a vesting option with the Phillies for next season.
Philadelphia is trying to bounce back from a dismal season in which they finished the year 16 games under .500. A victory over Texas certainly puts them on the right track, especially since the Rangers are loaded with talent and ready to make a run in the American League West division.
Obviously, the Phillies have a long ways to go, but it’s good to see that there is plenty of life on offense. Speaking of which, Rollins’ grand slam is exactly what Philadelphia needed on the first game of the season. It’s imperative to inject some confidence right out of the gate. It will be interesting to see if the team can build on that going forward.