HughE Dillon: Jimmy Rollins Takes the Phils Bowling

Jimmy and Johari Rollins host a fund-raiser at Lucky Strike Lanes.

At the 7th Annual BaseBOWL Tournament (benefiting the Rollins Family Foundation and the Arthritis Foundation), Jimmy Rollins, here with wife Johari Rollins, talked about the children who have been touched by the funds raised at BaseBOWL events. He talked about the smiles on kids’ faces as they attend Camp JRA (Juveniles Reaching Achievement), which is a week-long camp for kids ages 8-18 with arthritis and other rheumatic diseases. He enjoys the bond he shares with the kids, and every year he gets a gigantic group photo of the kids who benefited from the Jimmy Rollins Foundation. He said he’s so proud of the work that went into it to give those kids a place to have fun and meet other kids like themselves.

Below: Fans lined up outside Lucky Strike Lanes for the BaseBOWL Tournament as Phillies ballgirls Alicia Anglin and Amy McCafferey greeted the guests on the red carpet.

At this event, more than any other Phillies charitable event I attend, the fans have a chance to meet their baseball idols, get an autograph and pose for a photo. Below: First baseman Ryan Howard gladly poses with young fan Jacob Huesser, as dad Steve Huesser takes a photo. J-Roll provided all the players with customized shirts bearing their nicknames.

Below: Former Phillie Gary “Sarge” Matthews was ready to bowl a few frames.

I interrupted the Phillies First Ladies as they were sharing tales and photos of their children with each other. I saw the pictures too; so adorable. Below: Ryan Howard’s fiance Krystle Campbell (the duo will be marrying in December), Heidi Hamels, Stephenie Kendrick, and Jen Utley.

Below: The Phanatic was on hand to the delight of the crowd. Here he’s with Clarissa Koppius.

Below: Former Phillies pitcher Tommy Greene practices his throw before the real deal in the lane behind him.

Below: I met new Phillie Josh Lindblom and his wife Aurielle Lindblom, here with Stacie Cleland and Christopher “Josh” Koloeinir. The Lindbloms tell me they are settling in nicely in Philly and are looking for a place in Center City. They’ve always enjoyed coming to Philadelphia to play, and they admire the fans’ passion for the game. They already are becoming fast friends with Ashley and Jonathan Papelbon as they have mutual friends who play on the L.A. Dodgers. Earlier this year, they started The Josh Lindblom Foundation to raise funds for families and children in need.

Below: Chase Utley interrupted his game to meet Michael O’Brien and Christian Gatto. I like Michael’s autograph book; I had one just like it at his age.

Below: Matty Benigno, owner/baker of Potito’s Bakery, made the largest cannoli and two amazing cakes for Jimmy and Johari. One of the cakes was a bowling alley with pins and a ball. Roy Halladay declared the cannoli delicious.

Below: Kyle Kendrick for the strike! Next up, along with Prevent Child Abuse PA, the Jimmy Rollins Foundation will hold “A Night In Paris.” (You’ll recall last year’s theme was “Havana Nights.” See photos here.) The event will be held on November 12th at 7 p.m. at the National Constitution Center. There will be romance, delicious food, live jazz and special performances, and they’ll have dancers again this year from ABC’s Dancing With the Stars.