Rollins, from across the bay in Oakland, will be coming home in a sense for Games 3, 4 and 5 of the NL Championship Series here. He grew up in Oakland, went to high school there (same one attended by pitcher Dontrelle Willis) and even became pals with MC "U Can't Touch This" Hammer (the Oakland native and former Athletics' batboy). His mother was a highly skilled fast-pitch softball player in the area.
Now, Rollins, the 2007 NL MVP, comes back just as he might be getting untracked in this postseason.
"That's going to be fun," Rollins said late Sunday night before the Phillies chartered West. "That's going to be fun. I've got quite a ticket list. And I love playing in front of my family, friends that I haven't got to see in awhile. And also, the fans.
"They're, like, on the fence. Do they boo me? Do they get on me? Do they cheer me? So I go over there and have conversations. They crack on me, I crack back. But it was never in a situation like this."
The Phillies and Giants are even at one game apiece in this NLCS. And while Rollins has scuffled more this season than he maybe ever has in the majors because of two different calf injuries and, in September, a strained quadriceps.
He was 1-for-15 in the postseason before Game 2, but there are indications that perhaps Rollins is snapping out of that funk. He worked a bases-loaded walk in Game 2 and belted a bases-loaded, three-run double. He also singled.
"I hope it gets real special for him," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said of Rollins' homecoming. "Jimmy's going to enjoy it.
"I hope he plays like he can. When he gets going, he's a very consistent player, and he can carry it for quite awhile."
Though this is the third consecutive NLCS for Rollins and the Phillies, the shortstop has never played a game in the Bay Area as important as this.
"I'll probably get some treatment along the lines that Pat [Burrell] got [in Philadelphia]," Rolline predicted. "Just because I'm from there and everybody knows it. But it makes the game fun. That's what you live for.
"If they don't boo you, you're probably not a good player."