What a trifecta!
First, Jimmy Rollins won a Gold Glove, then a Silver Slugger and this afternoon, the Baseball Writers Association of America announced that he is the National League’s Most Valuable Player.
So, what goes on behind the scenes on a day like today?
The BBWAA kept it a secret until shortly before the 2 p.m. official announcement. The BBWAA called Leigh Tobin in our office for Jimmy’s cell phone and then called the Phillies shortstop who is in Los Angeles.
The last two years, Ryan Howard won the Rookie Award (2005) and the MVP (2006). In each case, Ryan was in Philadelphia on the day of the announcement. Jimmy had business on the west coast and was unable to be at Citizens Bank Park for a media conference.
Alternate plans had to be made. It was a simple case of rolling the dice for J-Roll.
Through modern technology, arrangements were made for Jimmy via a satellite video conference with Philadelphia media, Rollins in an LA studio and the media at Citizens Bank Park. That was set for 4 this afternoon, an hour after his telephone conference call with BBWAA members.
The Phillies and corporate Philadelphia joined forces in creating excitement around town:
**A large (25’x75’) Jimmy Rollins MVP banner was displayed at Citizens Bank Park’s Third Base Gate right after 2 o’clock.
**The various Phillies video boards in the Sports Complex flashed the news.
**The PECO building in center city is displaying “Congrats Jimmy Rollins MVP” in lights today, tomorrow and next Monday and Tuesday.
**The Cira Centre will illuminate the Phillies “P” from Sunday through Wednesday of next week, courtesy of Brandywine Realty Trust.
**A Citizens Bank billboard will salute Rollins from November 30 through December 14.
Jimmy will be in Philadelphia after the Thanksgiving holiday and the excitement will continue:
**Another MVP banner, this one 60’x20’, will be displayed at City Hall.
**Mayor John F. Street will honor him at City Hall, probably on Monday.
**That same day, Jimmy will visit Olney High School to unveil a new J-Roll MVP Computer Lab. Jimmy has purchased computers for the lab, another one of his charitable involvements in the community.
Looking into a crystal ball for 2008, Chase Utley will keep the award in Philadelphia. What a trifecta that would be.