Jimmy Rollins made history on Tuesday night, becoming the fourth Phillie in history to reach 2,000 hits in his career, when he doubled in the fifth inning against the Cincinnati Reds. He is the only shortstop in team history to surpass the 2,000 hit mark, and the first Phillie to do so since Mike Schmidt in 1986.
His first career hit, a triple, came in his second career plate appearance as a big leaguer, on September 17th, 2000, in a 6-5 win against the Florida Marlins. And 1,999 hits, 1,768 games, and 13 years later, Jimmy Rollins has the somewhat rare distinction of becoming a shortstop to join the 2,000 hit club. He is the 24th shortstop of all time to do it, and joins such luminaries as Derek Jeter, Honus Wagner, Ozzie Smith, Alan Trammell, Barry Larkin and Maury Wills.
Even though it doesn't quite have the gravitas of the 3,000 hit club, 2,000 hits isn't anything to sneeze at, because it takes a combination of skill, longevity, and consistency to be able to get that many hits. Hitting a baseball once is hard, much less 2,000 times, so for Rollins to be here, at his age, is fairly impressive.
That also puts him a bit closer to becoming the all time franchise hit leader. He currently sits in fourth place, behind Ed Delahanty (2,214), Richie Ashburn (2,217), and Mike Schmidt (2,234). If he can stay healthy, he should have no trouble eclipsing all three of those hitters in 2014.
But on a grander scale, what other milestones can Jimmy reach in his career? At 33, he figures to have at least 3-4 more “good” years left where he can be counted on with the bat on a daily basis. His power is going to wane, as will his already poor on-base skills, but he should be good for, say, 130 hits per season through age 37, which will put him at or near the the 2,500 hit mark (currently occupied by only six shorstops, including a fun sounding guy named Rabbit Maranville).
If he can get there (which is where the 'staying healthy' part figures in) he'll also have over 500 doubles, 250 homers, 125 triples, and around 500 stolen bases. That goes along with an MVP, a World Series ring, and the title of being the de facto leader of some really good Phillies teams. Not a bad career, at all.
So join me in congratulating Jimmy Rollins on 2,000 hits, and here's to quite a few more.