J-Roll At Home
J-Roll’s home for the holidays and a few more years.
Big press conference in the Media Room for his return took place this evening. Of all the 2011 “major” free agents, he’s the only one to return to his original team. At least, so far.
It is rare that players remain with one team their entire career. There’s Carl Yastrzemski, Cal Ripken, Jr., Brooks Robinson, Stan Musial, Tony Gwynn, Ernie Banks and Mike Schimdt, just to mention a few. Derek Jeter is probably headed there.
Yaz and Brooks hold the major league record for most career seasons, same club, 23.
In the Phillies world, there are four who have worn that uniform their entire career (minimum 10 seasons): Schmidt, 18, Larry Christenson, 11, Terry Harmon and Bob Miller, 10 each. Jimmy’s heading into his 12th season.
Will J-Roll always be a Phillie? Will there be another contract after this one? Will he leave then? Will he ever be traded?
No crystal ball to answer those questions. But history shows that Hall of Famers Robin Roberts and Richie Ashburn, two great Phillies icons, played elsewhere. Mike Lieberthal had 13 seasons with the Phillies and then ended 2007 with the Dodgers in 2007.
So, J-Roll remains as the Phillies longest tenured player. Heck, he’s the longest tenured of all Philadelphia athletes.
He’s come a long way from his Phillies debut, September 17, 2000, against the Marlins. He tripled in his first at-bat against someone named Chuck Smith. Comcast Sportsnet showed that triple the other night, a ball hit in to the right field corner at the Vet. See Jimmy run. By the way, he was wearing uniform # 29.
He also had a single, walk, two runs and a stolen base in that first game. A lot has changed since then, including wearing #11. Will have more on J-Roll’s numbers and where he ranks in Phillies history in a January blog.
In the press conference, he mentioned he’s been a Phillie since he was 17 years of age. This is home and where he belongs.