PHILADELPHIA — 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 Philadelphia Phillies uniform than any other player.
Rollins singled in the fifth to pass Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt to become the Phillies’ all-time hits leader and Domonic Brown capped the inning with a three-run homer, leading Philadelphia to a 7-4 win over the Chicago Cubs on Saturday.
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 5-foot-8 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.”
Rollins made his debut with the Phillies on Sept. 17, 2000, and has played his entire career in Philadelphia.
“To be the all-time hits leader, that speaks for itself,” Philadelphia manager Ryne Sandberg said. “It was well worth it. Fourteen years of effort with one uniform in a lot of ways that’s old school.”
Schmidt, a Phillies TV analyst for Sunday games, retrieved Rollins’ bat and greeted the 2007 NL 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’ 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.”
Photo via Twitter/@MLB