Or as Lugazi coach Henry Odong calls him, "Our brother, our father, our caretaker."
"Jimmy Rollins doesn't act like a superstar," said the coach. "He cares about us."
"To see them come over here and win a game is really more of a testament to them," Rollins had said earlier in the day as the team made a stop in a Norristown bat factory and scrimmaged a Plymouth Little League team. "I was just a supporting member in the grand scheme of things."
Rollins, of course, took a now well-publicized trip in January to see firsthand Uganda's Little League program, and to show support after a team from Kampala was denied its chance to compete in the 2011 Little League World Series because of missing and nonexistent documentation.
That snub, after Kampala had become the first African country to win the Mideast-Africa regional tournament, turned into a worldwide debate over morals and ethics. Really it was more likely one of logistics, or as one player from that 2011 team said in the narrative, "Documentation in Uganda is the hardest thing you can think of right now."
"For example a person like me, I was born in a clinic. It's just like being produced in one place and tomorrow that place is no more. So getting documentation is like a myth."
Baseball was introduced into Uganda and other African countries in late 1990s by an American missionary named Tom Roy, a former professional baseball executive. Richard Stanley, an owner of the Trenton Thunder who was in attendance Tuesday night, built a school there with his own money in 2003 and, with donations from sporting goods stores, began organized leagues.
Rollins took with him gloves, gum and other baseball related items, and his Jimmy Rollins Family Foundation donated $10,000 toward equipment. But it's a big country, and the equipment was so sparse that games were halted, sometimes for hours, while teams searched for a lost ball.
"We do not have a backstop," said Odong. "When the ball goes foul it goes sometimes 200 meters. So we have to run and pick up that ball."
Odong thought of something that made him laugh aloud.
"When the ball went foul in the first game at Williamsport, our catcher wanted to run in and get the ball. From where we come from we use two balls, three balls a whole season. And those balls cannot get lost."
Lugazi was eliminated in Williamsport when it lost its first two games. They were prepared for the baseball, but a few coaches think the cafeteria and unlimited food supply in Williamsport may have led to an epidemic of overeating by their amazed players. Still, it's victory over a team from Oregon in the consolation round gave the continent its first ever Little League victory, which was witnessed in prime time by television viewers back home.
"Winning one game means a lot," said Paul Kateregga, who oversees Little League in Uganda. "This will be bringing in a lot more players into Little League at home. And they will be following this team, the Phillies. Because of Jimmy Rollins, our friend."
Rollins' narrative as part of a locally produced documentary on the website Opposite-field.com speaks admiringly of the resolve of a godly people who have been through so much ungodliness, and to watch him interact with the kids Tuesday as he took batting practice is to watch Jimmy Rollins at his very best, a man you suspect will be even more impressive when his baseball career ends than he is now.
The kids? Hard to tell if they saw much of anything Tuesday night, including Jimmy's two walks. Wearing bright yellow shirts donated by the bat company, the Lugazi players were in constant demand by visitors to their seats in Section 136. Before the sixth inning began, the Phanatic adorned the team in those hysterically ridiculous hats of his, and they all tried to re-enact that gyrating dance of theirs along the third-base line.
Amid fielding warmups, Rollins stole a few glances before squeezing out a quick smile.
"When the kids could not come here last year, I was one of the ones who became discouraged," said Odong. "But when Jimmy Rollins came to Uganda he said, 'You know what? Let's keep pushing the game. You guys don't just put the gloves down.' And he kept us going. So there is nothing I could give back to Jimmy Rollins that would equal this."
Contact Sam Donnellon at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @samdonnellon. For recent columns, go to philly.com/SamDonnellon.