Thursday, July 14, 2016

no. 553 - kevin collins

Who is the man: Kevin Collins was entering his final major league season when this card was issued. He'd play in just 35 games for the Tigers in 1971.

Can ya dig it: Collins is wearing an "I'm just happy to be here" expression there in Yankee Stadium.

Right on: The "infield" designation is interesting. Collins did play all over the infield in his minor and major league career, mostly skipping between third, short and second. But in 1970, Collins was used almost exclusively as a pinch-hitter for Detroit and the lone position he played was first base. So "infield" should read "first base."

You see that cat Collins is a bad mother: Collins was 18 years old when he made his MLB debut for the Mets in September 1965.

Shut your mouth: Collins was involved in a pivotal trade between the Mets and Expos in midseason 1969. The Mets traded Collins, pitcher Steve Renko and minor leaguers Jay Carden and Dave Colon to the Expos for first baseman Donn Clendenon, who helped lead New York to the World Series title that season. The next spring, when Collins saw his old Mets teammates, he said, "I did more work for you guys than anybody on the Mets. I was the one who got traded for Donn Clendenon."

No one understands him but his woman: Collins gave up pro ball in 1974 to help raise his family. His team at the time, the Indians, wanted him to go into coaching, but he declined.

(A word about the back): Collins' pinch home run came in a game against the Angels on Aug. 25, 1970. It was a three-run homer in the bottom of the eighth inning and at the time had turned a 4-3 Angels lead into a 6-4 Tigers lead. But the Angels scored six runs in the ninth to win 10-6.

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