On his current36-game hitting streak
Every year I would tell my brother, Antwon, that I would break Joe DiMaggio'sstreak [of 56 games]. He would laugh. I haven't told him that this year yet. Idon't believe in jinxes, but I told him last year, and technically we'repicking up from there, so do I need to tell him again?
On Dom DiMaggio'ssaying that if Rollins breaks the record, it won't displace Joe's single-seasonstreak
I agree. If [the streak] is broken, it will be an alltime record--a 57-gamestretch. It won't count as a single-season record. But first I have to get to37. You know what I'm saying?
On how heprepared in the off-season
At the end of the season my swing felt good, and I didn't want to mess with it.I waited until I got to Florida and started seeing pitches with coacheswatching me, and hoped I would feel as good as I did at the end of last season.So far so good.
On where he spentthe winter
In Swedesboro, N.J. I was mostly working on my house. [He's single.] I boughtthe house last year from Michael McCary, who was in Boyz II Men. When I came tolook at it, we talked for three hours about lifestyle--just being in the light.But they weren't in the light, they were the light.
On being a topdefensive shortstop
God gave me good instincts, but we also study hitters like we're preparing foran exam. You know which way they skew, so you start shifting before thepitch.
On how he ranksamong shortstops
You have [Miguel] Tejada, who's real good. Derek Jeter, who's real good. Andafter them ... probably me. Number 3. Babe Ruth was number 3. I like it.
On the athleticinfluence of his parents, James and Gigi
My dad played football, ran track and wrestled, and my mom played in afast-pitch softball league while I was growing up [in Alameda, Calif.]. It wasa competitive league, the equivalent to the minor leagues for the girls. Sheplayed second base and pitched.
They both go to school in San Francisco. My sister, Sharon, plays basketballfor the University of San Francisco. We've been calling her Shaky Poo since shewas in elementary school. Antwon was drafted by the [Texas] Rangers, but hegoes to art school for video production. He produces a show on Comcast everyThursday night.
On his videocareer
MC Hammer is from Oakland, and when I was about 13, he had an open castingcall. My brother and I were picked to be in one of his videos. We were in agraveyard scene. But there was no dancing involved. You don't want to dancenext to Hammer. Then my sophomore year in high school I was in a Mavis Staplesvideo called The Voice. I played a little thug on the street corner sellingdrugs. Then I shot somebody and jumped a fence. It was fun. I wouldn't say I'mretired, just that my acting career is temporarily suspended.
ROLLINS, 27, ACAREER .273 HITTER, OPENS THE SEASON ON APRIL 3 WHEN THE PHILLIES HOST ST.LOUIS.
Photograph by Michael Heape