Aug 29, 2012, 1:41 PM EST
Jimmy Rollins takes a lot of heat for his OBP, occasional lack of hustle and new contract, but you might just be a bad person if you didn’t enjoy what Rollins did for the Ungandan National Little League team last night, or what those kids did in turn for a local Phils fan.
Rollins, if you haven’t heard by now, has sponsored the Uganda club — the first-ever from Africa to win a Little League World Series game — by sending the kids, shoes and equipment and even paying for their education. Last night at CBP, he hosted the whole team, taking them on a tour of the clubhouse and handing out custom fit hats.
Still, that’s not even close to the best part, when you consider what they did for another kid who appeared roughly their age.
If you watch this video on MLB.com, you’ll see Rollins make a nice backhanded, running catch down the left field line before chucking the ball into the stands.
What you won’t see — be would have if you were watching the broadcast last night — is that Rollins threw the ball to the Ugandan team who proceeded to hand the ball to a Phillies fan roughly their age sitting next to them.
THEY GAVE AWAY A GAME BALL.
With any luck Jimmy probably signed a whole mess for them anyway, but, still, a game ball.
These quotes from Jimmy and Odong Henry, one of the team’s coaches, from the Lehigh Valley Morning Call sum things up nicely:
“Jimmy Rollins is a great man to us, as a brother, as a father, as a caretaker,” Henry said. “When he’s with us, he’s really down to earth. He’s not like a superstar. He talks to us freely. He plays with us. When he comes to our country, he doesn’t care where he sits. He eats with us.”
“Bouncer (Henry’s nickname) named his son after a missionary who first was bringing baseball over there,” Rollins said. “He told me pretty soon there was going to be a whole bunch of kids over in Africa named Jimmy Rollins.”
If they’re anything like their namesake, they’ll have a knack for philanthropy, gold-glove fielding and smack-talking the Mets.
In the meantime, the Ugandans already know how to hang with the Phanatic:
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