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10/25/08 10:29 PM ET

Leadoff man Rollins introduced last

Phillies' spark plug draws loudest ovation from loyal fans

PHILADELPHIA -- As has been the case with player introductions for the past several years, the Phillies saved the best for last.

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That is why shortstop Jimmy Rollins, the team's leadoff hitter, was the final player introduced by public-address announcer Dan Baker when announcing the starting lineups before Saturday's Game 3 of the World Series.

Rollins has been the face of the franchise almost as long as he's been the team's starting shortstop, beginning in 2001. With a core group of home-grown players that includes Chase Utley, Pat Burrell, Cole Hamels and Brett Myers, Rollins stands above as the lineup's spark plug.

"When he's on base, he makes us go," manager Charlie Manuel has often said. "He always sets the tone."

That goes for the introductions, as well, as the biggest ovation was saved for the final player.

Ken Mandel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.