Tag Archives: Jimmy Rollins

New Shortstops in Big Market Cities

When the 2014 MLB season came to a close we saw the last of Derek Jeter as the shortstop of the New York Yankees. We knew long in advance, allowing every city to say their farewells and shower him with gifts.

When free agency began, the Winter Meetings commenced, and the Hot Stove officially heated up even more shortstops around baseball were about to make a change. Unlike Jeter, they still have baseball left to play.

Some of these men had been in their former homes longer than others. Some parted with kind words while others seemed a little more eager to get out.

Three of the most notable shortstops with new teams include Hanley Ramirez going from the Los Angeles Dodgers to the Boston Red Sox, Jimmy Rollins going from the Philadelphia Phillies to the Los Angeles Dodgers, and Didi Gregorius going from the Arizona Diamondbacks to the New York Yankees.

By Not That Bob James on Flickr (Original version) UCinternational (Crop) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
By Not That Bob James on Flickr (Original version) UCinternational (Crop) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons
Since the Red Sox already have Xander Bogaerts at shortstop, one of many young position players they appear to think very highly of, Ramirez will be asked to play left field even though he never has at the major league level. A shortstop at heart with over 1,000 career games logged at the position, he’s a good alternative to move back to his natural position if Bogaerts struggles or gets hurt. Far from the base-stealer he was early in his career, Ramirez can still hit and get on base. Since 2013, Ramirez has a .382 on-base percentage albeit in limited time.

Replacing Ramirez in Los Angeles is Rollins. After spending his entire 15 major league seasons with the Phillies, Rollins was traded to the Dodgers as the first step of the rebuilding process in Philadelphia. Over 2,000 career games spent at the shortstop position, the Dodgers are taking in the most experienced man around. Rollins continues to steal bases, swiping 28 in 2014, but his batting average has diminished significantly since 2008. In 2014, Rollins hit only .243. However, he did have a career high 64 walks which shows despite the reputation an old dog can learn new tricks. For Rollins, the trick was patience.

Finally there’s Gregorius who has the most difficult task of all. He is the man that has to replace Jeter. Even Rollins’ replacement in Philadelphia, likely to be Freddy Galvis, does not have a fraction of the pressure on Gregorius. Becoming the new shortstop for the Yankees after Jeter is like the Ultimate Warrior becoming the new champion after Hulk Hogan. It’s like when Roger Moore became the new permanent James Bond after Sean Connery. Gregorius is the first boyfriend after a messy divorce. You get the point.

Meanwhile, lesser teams have also brought in new men at the shortstop position. The Houston Astros have talked Jed Lowrie into leaving the Oakland Athletics to join their rise. Korean import Jung-Ho Kang has a chance to agree to a deal with the Pittsburgh Pirates and become the latest to play the position for them. Then there’s Asdrubal Cabrera who has joined the Tampa Bay Rays. His position could be either shortstop or second base. For the time being he’s undeclared.

Asdrubal Cabrera
By Keith Allison on Flickr (Originally posted to Flickr as “Asdrubal Cabrera”) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons
Shortstop is hardly a position for power hitters like it was during the late 1990s. Still, it remains a spot on the baseball diamond representative of the team’s heart. Bringing in someone new to quarterback the infield should never be taken lightly.

Jimmy Rollins’ Letter to the Fans

When Pablo Sandoval left the San Francisco Giants and put out a letter, I wasn’t buying it. He chose to leave in the prime of his career coming off a championship season.

In the case of shortstop Jimmy Rollins leaving the Philadelphia Phillies in a trade, any letter he puts out has a lot more merit.

Rollins spent his entire career with the Phillies. He won a championship and an MVP. His relationship wasn’t always the best, however, he was one consistent in the lineup. His trade to the Los Angeles Dodgers finally official, Rollins did the token thing and wrote a classy “thank you” letter to the fans.

Rollins Letter

Well done, Jimmy. As strained as your relationship with the fans was at times, you did exactly what you needed to.

We’ll see you in the broadcast booth soon enough.

The One Thing the Phillies Need to Get in a Trade for Cole Hamels

Jimmy Rollins will be traded–eventually. It’s just a matter of the Philadelphia Phillies and Los Angeles Dodgers figuring out who else is involved.

At least I hope Rollins will be traded. It’s going to be really awkward if he isn’t and everyone has already said their farewells. Remember at the end of ‘Castaway’ when Tom Hanks is saved and his wife, Helen Hunt, has remarried because she assumed he was dead, but he isn’t and they have to hangout? It’s kind of like that.

Assuming everything is cleared up and Rollins goes to the Dodgers, it becomes official that the Phillies are finally ready to rebuild. A big part of this rebuilding phase could involve trading starting pitcher Cole Hamels. He’s young enough to get something of value in return and talented enough to hold a few desperate teams for ransom.

Blevine37 at the English language Wikipedia [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons
Blevine37 at the English language Wikipedia [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons
If Hamels is traded, there is one thing the Phillies need to get in return. This one item is very specific. I want the Phillies to get something that will be at its peak value in 2018.

This rhetorical item can be one player or several of them. It can currently have no major league experience or it can have a season or two under its belt. It can pitch, hit, sing, or dance. All it needs to do is be able to be a big part of the team in 2018.

Why 2018?

I think three years of rebuilding is fair enough. This is a team in a big market with a television deal coming so they definitely have money to spend on free agents. A very bad 2015, a slightly better 2016, a finally approaching .500 2017, and then a 2018 season where the Phillies are once again healthy is an ideal and realistic scenario if they put the effort in.

I doubt the Phillies will be champions again in 2018. However I do strongly believe they could be a team competing for a wild card spot and ready to do it more strongly in 2019.

The 2018 season will be very important too as it will mark the 10-year anniversary of the 2008 World Series Championship. What better way to celebrate the 10-year anniversary than with a brand new team ready to make some good memories?

No matter where Hamels goes or what the Phillies get in return, they don’t need anything worthwhile until 2018. A major league ready player may be a waste, but at the same time it’s important they don’t just get prospects. Pitcher Joe Kelly of the Boston Red Sox is one player potentially involved in a trade for Hamels. At 26-years-old on opening day in 2015, he may be just the right age when throws the first ball of the 2018 Phillies season.

Projected Lineup for the 2015 Los Angeles Dodgers as of 12/10/2014

2015 Dodgers Lineup

Above is a look at the potential starting lineup for the 2015 Los Angeles Dodgers. It reminds me a lot of the Los Angeles Angels in that there are some very good hitters followed with a huge drop.

Several glances over, I don’t see an easy championship in the Dodgers’ immediate future based on their offense.

Do you see any noticeable names missing? It took me longer than it should have, but where’s Matt Kemp?

I found this picture posted on Twitter by the MLB Network. At this point they seem to be assuming that Kemp will be dealt and I’m sure the Baltimore Orioles are thrilled about it.

For the record, I’m not a fan of this lineup.

Juan Uribe batting fifth? I’m not a fan of his in general and I certainly don’t think him and his 27 home runs in 4 seasons with the Dodgers is worthy of such a critical run-producing spot in the lineup.

Uribe down I’m not even buying this lineup. Heck, Jimmy Rollins at number one seems foolish at this point. We also don’t know if Joc Pederson will struggle his rookie season and there’s always a chance Yasiel Puig gets himself in some sort of trouble off the field. Take him out of this lineup and suddenly they look extensively weaker.

The Dodgers are already paying their players so much money there’s not much else they can do after adding a big name pitcher.

This lineup as the one projected for 2015, I’m guessing Clayton Kershaw pitches every third day to help out.

Why Would the Los Angeles Dodgers Trade Dee Gordon?

Before an official confirmation of the Jimmy Rollins deal from the Philadelphia Phillies to the Los Angeles Dodgers was made, it became a reality that Dee Gordon was headed to the Miami Marlins.

The 2014 All-Star second baseman second generation league leading base stealing machine Gordon could have been a building block in the Dodgers’ lineup for a few more years. He’s a nearly ideal leadoff hitter with the exception of his inability to draw walks. This is the exactly problem their new shortstop Rollins has so in many ways they just got a more expensive and aged version of Gordon. So why make the trade in the first place?

By TonyTheTiger (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
By TonyTheTiger (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons
Now sans Gordon, the Dodgers have second base open. One potentially crazy idea I heard was that delay for the Rollins deal has to do with current Phillies second baseman Chase Utley getting tossed in as well. This would make sense since Utley is from the Los Angeles era and other than sentimentality could part ways fairly easily from Philadelphia an return home.

In return, the Phillies could get any of the players the Dodgers received from the Marlins. Including Utley, or instead of, pitcher Cole Hamels might be involved too. If Hamels was to get thrown into this deal–or gently placed liked the prized possession he is–the return would obviously be far more than for the Rollins/Utley combination.

Either way, the Dodgers are at the moment without a second baseman. They do have options within the organization already. With Rollins on the roster at shortstop, Justin Turner could slide over to second base rather smoothly.

Still, it seems as if something more needs to happen. The Dodgers can’t possibly be satisfied considering they are in Win Now Already Damn It! mode and are making deals for prospects with the Marlins.

The biggest piece they got for Gordon was minor league pitcher Andrew Heaney. Regarded by many as the top prospect in all of baseball, he’s the one I see getting flipped to the Phillies (or elsewhere) sooner rather than later.

To answer the initial question of why the Dodgers traded Gordon, it’s simply: we don’t know yet.

Dear Dodgers Fans, Here’s What You Get From Jimmy Rollins

Dear Fans of the Los Angeles Dodgers,

I hope this letter finds you well. Congratulations on a very successful 2014 season. You almost had it until Clayton Kershaw forgot he was Clayton Kershaw.

Apparently you may be getting Jimmy Rollins from the Philadelphia Phillies. I would congratulate you on this, however, as a Phillies fan who watched him from Triple-A up until today I don’t think there’s any celebration to be had.

First, let me say Rollins was once a great player. He won the 2007 MVP after all. Since 2008 though, he’s hitting only .255. If you take away the 2008 season, he’s only hitting .252.

Rdikeman at the English language Wikipedia [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia Commons
Rdikeman at the English language Wikipedia [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons
You’re getting a quality shortstop in terms of the modern-day man at the position. He fields well, has some pop in his bat, and can still steal bases. There’s those benefits you can look forward to seeing next season–if he doesn’t regress further.

What you won’t get from Rollins is someone who gets on base a ton, stays away from controversy, and most notable of all gives you hustle. Nicknamed J-Roll, Philadelphia fans became familiar with his alter-ego J-Stroll due to his lack of running to first base on every play. We like our hustle.

As a Phillies fan I’m not going to miss Rollins very much. He’s a reminder of how far this team has fallen and a big reason why they aren’t as good as they were for a brief stint from 2007-2010. Rollins simply wore out his welcome in Philadelphia. On a team like yours, he may be a much bigger contributor.

One thing to look out for with Rollins is his acceptance to bat at the bottom of the lineup. You already have Dee Gordon as your leadoff hitter. Rollins would be happy batting second for you, but this may not be such a good idea as he failed to even hit .250 last season. You want to win, right? Rollins may have to accept batting seventh or eighth and getting him to do so is easier said than done.

Rollins is not a Hall of Famer. At this point, he’s also not a very good baseball player.

You are getting something though. You are getting a veteran with experience. You are getting a guy that when motivated can come up with some big hits. I’m sure you remember this moment.

Rollins was the face of the Phillies for a decade and a half. For you, Dodgers fans, he will only be a small piece to what for your sake is hopefully a championship team.

That said, losing Rollins to you makes me resent seeing you win. I’ll be taking the low road and root for you to lose. Let’s go Rockies!

On behalf of Phillies fans everywhere, please take care of him. We’re going to need him for nostalgic reasons in 2018.

Kindest Regards,


The Three Reasons the Philadelphia Phillies Re-Signed Jimmy Rollins When They Did

Fifty years from now, when baseball games are watched telepathically in eight seconds and Pete Rose is still not in Cooperstown, Philadelphia Phillies fans will talk about shortstop Jimmy Rollins the same way the Scotsmen talked about William Wallace in “Braveheart.”

Only Larry Bowa comes close to matching the success Rollins has had at the shortstop position in the long history of the Phillies. Statistically, Rollins outshines Bowa and, defensively, he has actually won more Gold Gloves, thanks in part to Ozzie Smith‘s existence.

A player like Rollins should be beloved by the fans forever. Rollins will undoubtedly go down in history as a great player. For now, fans will continue to dismiss him for lack of hustle, lowered performance and rarely being able to relate on a personal level.

“J-Roll” has become “J-Stroll” and the Philadelphia fans are sure to let him know about their displeasure. When the Phillies re-signed him before the 2012 season, many people were angry to know he would be around providing much of the same

The million dollar question is, why would the Phillies re-sign Rollins when he was clearly getting worse each season?

Rdikeman at the English language Wikipedia [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia Commons
Rdikeman at the English language Wikipedia [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons
The Hype of Breaking Records

Coming into the 2014 season, Rollins will be 59 hits away from tying Mike Schmidt for the most hits in a Phillies uniform. This record has amazingly crept up on most of us, to no fault of our own. The last time he had more than 170 hits in a season was in 2007 when he had 212 of them.

Leading up to Rollins breaking the record there will be plenty of hype. A moment to celebrate the special occasion will commence and, even if the team is in last place, we will all be distracted for a moment to cheer for longevity.

Whether you like Rollins or not, it will be a nice moment to see something historic on a local level take place. Rollins will forever be associated with the franchise’s best era. For him to pass a legend like Schmidt legitimizes this team and his time in Philadelphia even more.

His Contract Expired Too Early

If only his previous contract was a year longer Rollins may have been wished well as he exited the Phillies’ locker room for the final time. His first lengthy contract expired when he was 32 years old, setting him up perfectly for one last contract negotiation.

Standard procedure in baseball seems to be re-signing players more often than not when they are still in their early-30s. Rollins, a well-known athlete in a city notorious for being overly attached to its stars, lucked out and had a successful beginning of his career, which helped keep him around a little longer than he maybe should have.

Rollins is now dead weight in the Phillies’ lineup. His average has declined every year, and he gets to first base less than the antisocial chess club captain with bad breath.

In comedy, timing is everything. Maybe the timing of Rollins contract was a joke on us all.

Future Phillies Broadcaster

Rollins likes to talk. He always has and after he retires he will look for an outlet to continue. Could Rollins become a new television broadcaster?

The Phillies organization loves putting former players in the broadcast booth. With no tenured color commentator currently under contract, Rollins looks like a great choice after his playing days are through.

By extending Rollins, the Phillies showed him that they are loyal and value him. Their intents a mystery to the public, it would be no surprise if they have already spoken to him about his future with the organization.

Rollins has already done some national television during postseason baseball. The next step is doing it every night in the city he played in.

Will Jimmy Rollins be a Hall of Famer?

A guaranteed Philadelphia Phillies future Wall of Famer, an honor given to just about anyone who plays on the team for at least eight seasons, the debate in Philadelphia is less about whether or not Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins will end up with a bust in Citizen’s Bank Ballpark’s Ashburn Alley and more about whether he will be enshrined in Cooperstown. I have followed Rollins through his entire career and even remember seeing him play while in AAA. Outside of maybe three seasons, Rollins has never done much to impress me. His lack of hustle and slightly above average offensive statistics tell me that Rollins is not an all-time great who deserves to be a Hall of Famer.

Rollins is a career .269 hitter, which for a guy batting leadoff is a little pathetic. The last time he hit above .269 in a season was 2008 when he hit .277 for the championship team. Batting average of course is not the only statistic when it comes to electing a player to the Hall of Fame. As batting averages may not be all that matter, I believe averages in general do. Using Baseball Reference’s average statistics of the current members of the Baseball Hall of Fame, I would like to compare them to what Rollins currently has.

The average Hall of Famer’s career looks like this:

All-Star Appearances: 6
WAR: 68
Plate Appearances: 8996
At-Bats: 7917
Runs: 1321
Hits: 2397
Doubles: 409
Triples: 110
Home Runs: 209
Runs Batted In: 1212
Stolen Bases: 228
Walks: 889
Strikeouts: 728
Batting Average: .303
On-Base Percentage: .376
Slugging Percentage: .462
On-Base Plus Slugging Percentage: .837

Jimmy Rollins’s career statistics as of August 10, 2013 look like this:

All-Star Appearances: 3
WAR: 41.7
Plate Appearances: 8714
At-Bats: 7925
Runs: 1226
Hits: 2134
Doubles: 442
Triples: 107
Home Runs: 198
Runs Batted In: 825
Stolen Bases: 418
Walks: 666
Strikeouts: 1020
Batting Average: .269
On-Base Percentage: .327
Slugging Percentage: .427
On-Base Plus Slugging Percentage: .754

These are the statistics Rollins is below average on:

1-All-Star Appearances
3-Plate Appearances
7-Home Runs
8-Runs Batted In
10-Batting Average
11-On-Base Percentage
12-Slugging Percentage
13-On-Base Plus Slugging Percentage

There are the statistics Rollins is above average on:

3-Stolen Bases

Rollins is far and away below the average Hall of Famer. Having more at-bats with less plate appearances only proves his inability to draw walks. Having more strikeouts than the average Hall of Famer proves how poor his batting eye has been throughout his career. When broken down like this, the only two statistics Rollins is above average at are doubles and stolen bases.

It should be noted that Rollins has a chance at surpassing the averages for runs, hits, triples, and home runs. Taking into consideration that he is in the twilight of his career and the moon is already out, there is no guarantee he will reach each of those milestones.

In addition to these statistics, Rollins has an MVP, four Gold Gloves, and a Silver Slugger Award and those achievements should not be overlooked.

My conclusion is that Rollins has had an impressive career, but it surely is not Hall of Fame worthy when compared to the other baseball immortals.

How Jimmy Rollins Compares to Other Shortstops

In little league baseball, the shortstop position was filled with the best athlete on the team. By the coach’s standard, this was usually his son.

As players matured, nepotism mattered less and winning was pushed to the forefront. Shortstops were still terrific athletes. The amount of range needed to cover the space between second base and third base as well as shallow left center field and in some cases further is necessary for a shortstop to reach an elite class.

The Ozzie Smiths, the Larry Bowas and the Omar Vizquels were all shortstops with good hands and gloves made of gold. At some point the position evolved into one less about great fielding. Shortstops were now often called upon to be professional hitters.

One shortstop who played throughout this change was Jimmy Rollins of the Philadelphia Phillies. More than a vacuum cleaner on the field able to gobble up balls, Rollins has had success with the bat in his hands.

As far back as most Phillies fans can remember, Rollins has been a leadoff hitter. Never has he been the best at this. He has the speed, yes. What he has always lacked is the ability to get on base, specifically in the post-2008 era.

Loyalists to Rollins will credit his ability to score runs as his best attribute. Amazingly, even through all of his struggles, Rollins has still scored 100 runs in 6 of his 14 seasons, the most recent was in 2012 when he had a disappointing .250 batting average.

Rollins has always been a “tweener” shortstop when it comes to his power numbers. His 2007 MVP season he hit a career high 30 home runs. He has reached 20 three other times, but it is those seasons like last year in 2013 when he hit only 6 that make him a guy not known for power numbers.

A big problem with Rollins and the fans appreciating what he has done is the lack of identity. Rollins lacks consistency and because of that fans never know how to view him compared to the other shortstops around the league, specifically from “The Modern Day Shortstop Era.”

The Modern Day Shortstop Era begins in 1996. This was Derek Jeter‘s rookie year, Alex Rodriguez‘s first full season, and the last for Cal Ripken Jr. before switching over to play primarily third base.

Others included in this era are: Nomar Garciaparra, Miguel Tejada, Rich Aurilia, Edgar Renteria, and Barry Larkin. Younger players like Hanley Ramirez, Jose Reyes and Troy Tulowitzki came after the first wave of power hitting shortstops with the added bonus of a fat batting average.

Using each of these top shortstops mentioned, where does Rollins rank among them?


3,316 – Derek Jeter

3,184 – Cal Ripken Jr.

2,939 – Alex Rodriguez

2,407 – Miguel Tejada

2,340 – Barry Larkin

2,327 – Edgar Renteria

2,175 – Jimmy Rollins

1,747 – Nomar Garciaparra

1,597 – Jose Reyes

1,576 – Rich Aurilia

1,276 – Hanley Ramirez

Home Runs:

654 – Alex Rodriguez

431 – Cal Ripken Jr.

307 – Miguel Tejada

256 – Derek Jeter

229 – Nomar Garciaparra

199 – Jimmy Rollins

198 – Barry Larkin

186 – Rich Aurilia

178 – Hanley Ramirez

140 – Edgar Renteria

102 – Jose Reyes


1,919 – Alex Rodriguez

1,876 – Derek Jeter

1,647 – Cal Ripken Jr.

1,329 – Barry Larkin

1,247 – Jimmy Rollins

1,230 – Miguel Tejada

1,200 – Edgar Renteria

927 – Nomar Garciaparra

879 – Jose Reyes

758 – Hanley Ramirez

745 – Rich Aurilia

Gold Gloves:

5 – Derek Jeter

4 – Jimmy Rollins

3 – Barry Larkin

2 – Edgar Renteria

2 – Cal Ripken Jr.

2 – Alex Rodriguez

0 – Rich Aurilia

0 – Nomar Garciaparra

0 – Hanley Ramirez

0 – Jose Reyes

0 – Miguel Tejada

Stolen Bases:

425 – Jose Reyes

425 – Jimmy Rollins

379 – Barry Larkin

348 – Derek Jeter

322 – Alex Rodriguez

294 – Edgar Renteria

247 – Hanley Ramirez

95 – Nomar Garciaparra

85 – Miguel Tejada

36 – Cal Ripken Jr.

23 – Rich Aurilia

Batting Average:

.313 – Nomar Garciaparra

.312 – Derek Jeter

.302 – Hanley Ramirez

.299 – Alex Rodriguez

.295 – Barry Larkin

.292 – Jose Reyes

.286 – Edgar Renteria

.285 – Miguel Tejada

.276 – Cal Ripken Jr.

.275 – Rich Aurilia

.269 – Jimmy Rollins


3 – Alex Rodriguez

2 – Cal Ripken Jr.

1 – Barry Larkin

1 – Jimmy Rollins

1 – Miguel Tejada

0 – Rich Aurilia

0 – Derek Jeter

0 – Hanley Ramirez

0 – Edgar Renteria

0 – Jose Reyes

*Statistics as of the beginning of the 2014 season

It should be again noted that Alex Rodriguez and Cal Ripken Jr. did spend significant time at third base before looking at what these numbers amount to.

Rollins tends to fall in the middle in most cases. Already a borderline Hall of Famer, Rollins also appears to be a borderline superstar when compared to the other shortstops of his era.

Still, some careers are not yet finished. Due to this Rollins will slide further down the ladder as time goes on.

The greatest shortstops in the history of the Phillies, he is nothing more than a very good one in the grand scheme of Major League Baseball.

Recent Baseball Players Who Spent Their Entire Career with One Team

Thank Curt Flood for free agency. Limiting contracts and allowing players the freedom to go where they please once they pass arbitration, it is rare to see a player spend his entire career in one city. Stars like Tony Gwynn, Cal Ripken Jr., and Kirby Puckett from the 1990s who only wore one team’s uniform in their career are rarer than ever. Rare still does not mean never. Taking a look at recent history of active and now retired players, here are ten players who spent an entire career with one franchise and have the potential to retire that way too.

Todd Helton – Colorado Rockies

Todd Helton will be the first Colorado Rockies player to enter the Hall of Fame. Tremendous power and the ability to hit for a high average even while away from the infamous hitter’s park of Coors Field, Helton showed his loyalty to the team by never parting from them. In good times and in bad, Helton took the field ready to play on a nightly basis.

Ryan Howard – Philadelphia Phillies

The heart of the Philadelphia Phillies lineup and clean-up hitter, Ryan Howard has seen better days. Injuries have slowed him down in recent years, but when he was younger Howard was one of the most dangerous power hitters in the league. The odds of Howard leaving Philadelphia is limited as he is locked in with a heavy contract only a desperate American League team may be willing to take on.

Derek Jeter – New York Yankees

The Captain of the New York Yankees, Derek Jeter is a player non-baseball fans even know. A true leader and the most consistent player in the locker room during their dynasty run during the 1990s and early 2000s, Jeter will retire where he began his career, at short stop in Yankees pinstripes.

Chipper Jones – Atlanta Braves

For kids growing up in the 1990s, Chipper Jones was one of the players most emulated. His high socks were often imitated and his tobacco chewing was replaced with wads of bubble gum. Aside from the look, Jones was a constant danger in the National League East. There were a lot of reasons why the Atlanta Braves seemed to always win the division and Chipper Jones was one of them.

Joe Mauer – Minnesota Twins

Former number one overall pick Joe Mauer has solidified himself in Minnesota Twins history. The team has seen little success in the last twenty years other than a few brief playoff runs. One huge success has been locking in Mauer for the rest of his career.

Jorge Posada – New York Yankees

Jorge Posada’s career may have ended on the downside, but during his time with the New York Yankees there was little he did not succeed at. A solid catcher and an even better hitter, Posada falls just below names like Yogi Berra and Bill Dickey on the Yankees all-time list of backstops.

Jimmy Rollins – Philadelphia Phillies

The Philadelphia Phillies short stop came into the league on a losing team and was there throughout the run of division titles. Rollins has seen all sides of playing in Philadelphia and he has shown even more on the field. Still a talented fielder, Rollins has evolved into less of leadoff hitter and more into a symbol of past team success.

Chase Utley – Philadelphia Phillies

If not for injuries Chase Utley would be in the conversation for greatest second baseman of all-time. Unfortunately his hard play on the field has done a lot of damage to his knees and he has missed a lot of games because of it. Despite this fact, Utley remains a fan favorite and will never part the minds of Phillies fans.

Jason Varitek – Boston Red Sox

Jason Varitek was never an elite player, but this did not stop him from receiving the rare honor of team captain, something rarely given out in baseball. Varitek helped the Boston Red Sox win their first championship in almost 100 years. One of the most overlooked players from Boston’s success in the early 2000s, Varitek deserved every bit of praise he received.

David Wright – New York Mets

The New York Mets are determined keep David Wright for as long as they can. Lucky for them Wright seems to enjoy playing for the team. Not a player with much team success in his career, Wright unfortunately may end up as a successful player never winning a championship. Wright’s humble attitude lends itself to well wishes from the fans, Mets or otherwise.

Photo Credit: By Wknight94 (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons