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Rollins returns, reflects on life with Phillies

Longtime shortstop joins 7 from 2008 World Series champion roster for pregame ceremony
MLB.com

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Longtime Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins went through a lot of old gear from his playing days recently, and if it had any red on it, he kept it.

The Giants colors he wore last spring? Gone. Remnants of his one season with the White Sox in 2016? He has just a bag, in case he has to transfer items. Rollins admitted he still has the first jersey from '15 with the Dodgers.

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Longtime Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins went through a lot of old gear from his playing days recently, and if it had any red on it, he kept it.

The Giants colors he wore last spring? Gone. Remnants of his one season with the White Sox in 2016? He has just a bag, in case he has to transfer items. Rollins admitted he still has the first jersey from '15 with the Dodgers.

None of them have close to the same meaning as the red and white of Philadelphia.

"I just can't do it," Rollins said. "All of my Phillies stuff is literally in a box. Anything else -- it's pretty much cleared out.

"Putting on another uniform would be weird."

On Sunday, Rollins, who played parts of 15 seasons with Philadelphia, put his old No. 11 jersey back on for the first time since he left the team in 2014. He was present during the Phillies' game against the Blue Jays as part of the team's Alumni Day, honoring local members of the '08 World Series Championship team before a home game against Toronto.

Tweet from @Phillies: With this being the tenth anniversary of the 2008 season, Alumni Day in Clearwater this year is naturally all about the World Series Champions! #8from08 pic.twitter.com/k7b9IZYOPz

"It hit me that it's been 10 years -- that's crazy," Rollins said. "Pretty soon, it's going be 20 years. A lot has changed in 10 years."

Though he's only been out of baseball since last spring, the jersey was still a near-perfect fit over the red, plaid shirt he wore.

"Everybody still looks the same, but some got a little bigger and a little more gray," Rollins said. "With my wife, that's definitely kind of hard to do."

Video: TOR@PHI: Myers discusses winning 2008 World Series

Rollins is not yet officially retired. He has to fill out paperwork in order to start that process. The idea of signing a one-day contract to ceremoniously retire with Philadelphia has been floated around, but Rollins isn't sure about doing so.

"If I get signed to a one-day thing, I'm playing," Rollins joked. "If they just want me to retire and announce that, it's fine. But if you sign me to a contract, I don't do honorary contracts. I'm going to play that day."

He continued: "I may just run out on the field and pull a hamstring, but I'm going to jump that line one more time."

:: Spring Training coverage presented by Camping World ::

As far as post-retirement plans are concerned, Rollins is still figuring things out. He will be part of an Aug. 5 regular-season ceremony when the team hosts the Marlins that again honors the 2008 championship squad.

Beyond that, Rollins isn't locked into anything just yet. The idea of being a full-time coach isn't terribly appealing, but doing special assignments to assist young players did catch his interest.

"I've got all the time in the world," Rollins said.

Phillies manager Gabe Kapler was receptive of the possibility of Rollins helping the organization in whatever way he wanted to contribute.

"I think he's the kind of guy that can do anything in life and be successful at it, and we'd love to have him around as much as possible because of the experience he can bring," Kapler said. "Jimmy knows that my office is always open, Jimmy knows that he can put on a uniform at any time, and Jimmy knows that we want him around as much as possible because of the impact he can make on and off the field, and the influence he'll have in that clubhouse."

Philadelphia Phillies