Like most employers, the Philadelphia Phillies frown upon co-workers having romantic relationships; after all, employees are supposed to be concentrating on their work and not each other.
Unfortunately there are those few occasions when the heart wants what the heart wants, it doesn't matter what the rules say. Such was the case with Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins, who one day ventured up from the Phils' clubhouse and into the team's front offices.
What happened next was really no fault of Jimmy’s, because once cupid hits you with that love at first sight arrow, all bets are off.
Her name was Johari Smith, a fitness instructor from the Mount Airy section of Philadelphia, who at the time was working as an intern for the Phillies. The rest, as they say, was history.
On Saturday, Jan. 23, Johari and Jimmy tied the knot in front of friends, family and teammates at the Ritz-Carlton hotel on the West Caribbean island of Grand Cayman. Former Phillie outfielder Bobby Abreu was one of Rollin’s groomsmen.
As wonderful as I’m sure the wedding was, the couple will also have one other memory to remember the week by. Tuesday morning, just five days before the I do’s and throwing of the garter, Grand Cayman was rocked by a magnitude 5.8 earthquake. According to most reports, the quake, hit around 9:23 that morning, but lasted no more than 10 to 15 seconds.
Certainly doesn’t seem like a long time, but given the outcome of Haiti’s horrific earthquake, what were the future Mr. and Mrs. Rollins thinking at that moment.
I remember as soon as I heard about the Grand Cayman quake, I called Jimmy’s agent Chris Cabott, who assured me that Jimmy, Johari and the rest of the wedding party were alright and that he would be joining them for the nuptials at the end of the week.
Thank goodness all was well. I couldn’t help but think about what would have happened, had a more severe quake hit five days later with all those Phillies players and team personnel in attendance.
Congratulations Jimmy and Johari and good luck and good health. Oh and by the way, Phillies players are no longer allowed in the team's front offices.
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