|Born: October 20, 1952|
Rapid City, South Dakota
|June 7, 1975, for the California Angels|
|Last MLB appearance|
|October 3, 1990, for the St. Louis Cardinals|
|Runs batted in||373|
Collins is one of three players to have made it to the major leagues who played for the storied Rapid City Post 22 American Legion baseball program in Rapid City, South Dakota. The other two are Kelvin Torve and Mark Ellis. All three were graduates of Stevens High School.
- 1 Playing career
- 2 Coaching career
- 3 See also
- 4 References
- 5 External links
Collins was drafted in the first round of the 1972 draft from Mesa Community College by the California Angels. He made his professional debut with the Angels Rookie ball team in Idaho Falls and moved up through the Angels farm system, with stops in Single-A Quad City and Salinas, Double-A El Paso and Triple-A Salt Lake City. He was dubbed "fastest white man in baseball" because he ran the 100-yard dash in 9.6 seconds and had high stolen base totals.
He made his major league debut for the Angels on June 7, 1975, playing left field and batting leadoff, against the Milwaukee Brewers. He recorded his first career hit the following day against Brewers pitcher Tom Murphy.
After two seasons as a utility player and reserve outfielder with the Angels, he was selected by the Seattle Mariners with the 14th pick in the 1976 Major League Baseball expansion draft. He was the first batter for the Mariners in their first game, and scored the franchise's first run two days later.
After that 1977 season, the Mariners traded Collins to the Cincinnati Reds for Shane Rawley, and he spent the subsequent four seasons with the Reds. He hit .318 in 1979 and .303 in 1980, during which he also stole 79 bases.
New York Yankees
Collins was signed by the New York Yankees as a free agent prior to the 1982 season.
Toronto Blue Jays
Collins was traded by the Yankees, along with Mike Morgan, Fred McGriff and cash to the Toronto Blue Jays in 1983 for Tom Dodd and Dale Murray. He hit .271 and .308 in his two seasons in Toronto, and currently holds the Blue Jays single season stolen base record with 60 steals in 1984.
Collins was traded in December of 1984 by the Blue Jays, along with Alfredo Griffin and cash, to the Oakland Athletics, in exchange for Bill Caudill. Collins hit .251 in 112 games for Oakland during the 1985 season.
Picked up by the Montreal Expos as a free agent after the season, he was cut during spring training.
He was signed by the Cincinnati Reds, with whom he had previously had the most success. Used as a fourth outfielder/pinch hitter by the Reds, he found some success, hitting .294 in 1987, but his average dropped to .236 in 1988. In 1989, he was released.
St. Louis Cardinals
Collins' last season was in 1990, with the St. Louis Cardinals, batting .224 in 99 games as a first baseman.
In 1701 games over 16 seasons, Collins compiled a .272 batting average (1335-for-4907) with 667 runs, 187 doubles, 52 triples, 32 home runs, 373 RBI, 395 stolen bases, 467 base on balls, 660 strikeouts, .338 on-base percentage and .351 slugging percentage. Defensively, he recorded a .986 fielding percentage at all three outfield positions and at first base.
Collins presently[when?] is volunteering at the Lighthouse Correctional Facility, conducting one hour motivational and life skills to young offenders, with the hope of enhancing and changing their lives.
Dave coached for various MLB organization, and also coached the Inland Empire 66ers in 2007. In addition to coaching at the Major and Minor League levels, Collins was also the head coach for Anna High School in Anna, Ohio from 1992 to 1994. He was the head baseball and basketball coach for Lake Orion High School in Lake Orion, Michigan from 1996 to 1998. In 2009, he was assistant coach for the Ontario Blue Jays 18U team.
- Career statistics and player information from MLB, or ESPN, or Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or The Baseball Cube, or Baseball-Reference (Minors)
| St. Louis Cardinals first base coach
| Cincinnati Reds first base coach
| Salem Avalanche Manager
| Milwaukee Brewers first base coach
| Colorado Rockies first base coach
| Inland Empire 66ers Manager
| Florida Marlins first base coach