By Joe Mason, Phillyburbs.com
The Phillies will always be winners in my book.
First, they won a championship. I’m 35 years old and I only remember one title, the one this team won in 2008. It was a great time for sports and I’ll always remember how great that feeling was.
But there’s another reason I love this Phillies team. The middle infield. And it’s not what you think.
Sure, I love Chase Utley and Jimmy Rollins for what they bring to the field.
Both guys are exactly what you need for a winning team. Utley’s intensity and Rollins’ swagger, coupled with Cole Hamels’ left arm and Ryan Howard’s clutch hitting is what made Philadelphia a destination place for great baseball players. But it’s what Rollins and Utley do off the field that make them heroes in my book. And the funny thing is, I didn’t know about Rollins’ passion for pets until today.
Everyone knows about Chase. Along with his wife, Jen, the pair created the Utley Foundation to bring awareness to the increasing epidemic of animal cruelty.
This was a great thing because recently, animal cruelty has been everywhere, and if a macho guy like Chase Utley can be kind to animals, it proves you can be a tough guy and still care about little creatures.
And today I was told that his double play teammate is getting in on the action.
According to a news release, Rollins and his wife, Johari, in conjunction with the St. Franics Veterinary Center in Woolwich Township, are opening the Jimmy and Johari Rollins Center for Animal Rehabilitation. A grand opening is slated for Saturday.
This is a heck of a thing. According to the web site, the center will offer to animals many of the same cutting-edge modalities often used by humans, including those utilized by professional athletes like Jimmy Rollins. Now I know fat cats like my babies won’t want to take part in this, but just assume you have a pet who suffered an injury? How great is it that you now have a place where you can take them to rehab their injury. This could mean the difference between having a pet be mobile again. It’s incredible, and it’s great that a guy like Jimmy Rollins would get behind this.
Why is Rollins getting behind this?
“Johari and I have trusted Saint Francis Veterinary Center with the health of our dogs for many years, and we are honored to be a part of a unique service that can help pets to live happy, healthy lives,” Rollins said on the company’s site.
This is a great thing because if you are a sports nut, you probably hear a lot of bad things about athletes.
And many athletes make poor choices in life. Just like regular people, they’re not perfect.
But there are also many athletes like Chase and Jimmy, who make a difference.
Things like this often go unnoticed, but it shouldn’t.
So tonight when I watch these guys play, I’ll still get upset if they do something boneheaded, or if they fail to get a hit with runners in scoring position, I’ll get angry. But I’ll also remember that these guys go out of their way to help animals. And in my book, that’s more important than the tremendous 2008 championship they won for us Phillies fans.
Saturday is the grand opening for the Jimmy and Johari Rollins Center for Animal Rehabilitation Center and they’re going to do it with style.
The events begin at 10 a.m. and it will be a great place to bring children. It will feature the Phillie Phanatic, pet adoptions, autographs, a pet costume competition, a moon bounce and live music. Sounds like it will be a great time for man and beast!
For more details, visit the center’s Web site.
Joe Mason can be reached at jmason@phillyBurbs.com
Original article here