Jimmy Rollins says goodbye to Philadelphia in full-page ad

(USA TODAY Sports)
(USA TODAY Sports)

The deal sending Jimmy Rollins to the Los Angeles Dodgers is official now, meaning he's no longer the longest-tenured athlete in Philadelphia.

Rollins was selected by the Philadelphia Phillies in the 2nd round of the 1996 amateur draft. He went on to spend his first 15 major league seasons in a Phillies uniform, accumulating 2,306 hits, 1,325 runs scored, 216 home runs, 887 RBIs, 453 stolen bases and 111 triples. He also earned three All-Star selections and one MVP award in 2007, while helping the Phillies win five division championships and a World Series championship in 2009.

A lot of great numbers. A lot of memories. But now it's time to say goodbye, at least for now.

Jimmy Rollins did just that on Saturday, taking out a full-page ad in the Philadelphia Enquirer.

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The print is a little small so here's the full text:

To the City of Philadelphia,

Words cannot begin to describe what these past 18 years as a Phillie have meant to me. Starting as a teenager from Northern California, becoming a husband and now a father of two beautiful children, I’ve spent nearly half of my life growing up in front of all of you.

We’ve shared a lot of great memories that I’ll cherish forever. From being the “team to beat,” to our great postseason run and raising that World Championship banner, it has been an honor playing in front of the most passionate fans in the world. You let us hear it when things got tough and you rocked “The Bank” when we needed you most.

It’d like to thank the countless staff members throughout the organization that have supported me and the Rollins Family Foundation over the years. We wouldn’t be where we are today without all of you.

To my teammates, you guys are family and always will be. There have been many to come and go over the years and I’ve enjoyed taking the field with each and every one of you. Chase, Hollywood, Chooch, Big Piece … brothers for life.

Lee Thomas, Ed Wade, Pat Gillick, Ruben Amaro and the managers that I’ve played for over the years, Tito, Larry, Charlie and Ryno; thank you for giving me the opportunity and making a kid from Alameda’s dream come true. Mr. Montgomery, thank you for everything.

Love you all! Peace.

Jimmy, Johari, Cam & Lolo

Rollins had the option to veto the trade but elected to move on with the Phillies finally moving forward with a rebuilding effort. It's a tough business like that, but Rollins is ready to create new memories and maybe even win another World Series with the Dodgers.

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Mark Townsend is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at bigleaguestew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!