Wednesday, October 30, 2019

1981 Topps Dave Collins

The front: Fantastic shot here, with the unusual action photo of the player batting with his back to the camera. Check out the large letters used for Collins’s name. This must be July 27, 1980, with Alex Trevino as the catcher and Ray Knight on deck behind Collins. Collins went 1-for-4 with an RBI in Cincinnati’s 10-4 win.

The back: As of 2006, Collins’s 9.6 second 100-yard dash was still the state record. Now the metric system is used instead; the state record holder for the 100-meter dash is Gawain Williams, who ran it in 10.3 seconds in 2016.

The player: Dave Collins was a switch-hitting outfielder whose one big skill was his speed. His best season was 1980, when he hit .303 with 3 HR, 35 RBI and 79 SB for the Reds. Two years later the Yankees signed him as a free agent, as George Steinbrenner, on one of his whims, decided the Yankees needed to be rebuilt for speed. He was a disappointment in his one season in the Bronx, hitting .253 with 3 HR, 25 RBI and 13 SB. After that season the Yankees sent Collins and a minor leaguer named Fred McGriff to the Blue Jays for Dale Murray and Tom Dodd, another Steinbrenner misstep. As Collins aged, his one strength became less of an asset and he bounced around the major leagues throughout the rest of the 1990s. Overall, eight teams over 16 seasons, Collins hit .272 with 32 HR, 373 RBI and 395 SB.

The man: Collins has had a long coaching career at both the professional and youth level. He is currently an assistant coach at Miami University Hamilton in Ohio.

My collection: I have 37 of his cards, from 1976 to 1989. I would be interested in trading for 1983 Fleer Star Stickers #42.

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