Over the next few weeks, The Good Phight will review some of the top stories of the 2006 baseball season. To that end, we're going to focus on in-season, on-the-field events.
The first major story of the 2006 season was also one of the biggest stories of that offseason; namely, shortstop Jimmy Rollins' still-breathing 36 game hitting streak.
Last winter, baseball fans were treated to countless feature stories, interview, and articles from all corners of print and broadcast media, from ESPN to George Will, profiling the press friendly and photogenic Phillies shortstop. Already the longest streak ever for an African-American player, debate raged as to whether a streak interrupted by the offseason would count as a streak in the event Rollins were to challenge the league record streaks of Pete Rose and Joe DiMaggio.
We never found out the answer, however, as Jimmy's streak ended at (unofficially) 38 games in the third game of the season; fittingly, the third game of a home series sweep at the hands of the St. Louis Cardinals.
Undeterred, Rollins went on to have a peculiar and excellent season, socking 25 homers, topping his previous career high of 14, and playing a key role in the Phillies' second half deja vu near-miss Wild Card surge. While a long-shot candidate to have another lengthy hitting streak, late last summer and into this September we were given a chance to cheer on one of the game's most genuinely likeable and entertaining young stars.
The Good Philes: