Eddie Collins

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Eddie Collins
Eddie Collins 1911.jpg
Collins with the Philadelphia Athletics in 1911
Second baseman / Manager
Born:(1887-05-02)May 2, 1887
Millerton, New York
Died: March 25, 1951(1951-03-25) (aged 63)
Boston, Massachusetts
Batted: LeftThrew: Right
MLB debut
September 17, 1906, for the Philadelphia Athletics
Last MLB appearance
August 2, 1930, for the Philadelphia Athletics
MLB statistics
Batting average .333
Hits 3,315
Home runs 47
Runs batted in 1,300
Stolen bases 745
Managerial record174–160
Winning %.521
Teams
As player

As manager

Career highlights and awards
Member of the National
Empty Star.svgEmpty Star.svgEmpty Star.svg Baseball Hall of Fame Empty Star.svgEmpty Star.svgEmpty Star.svg
Induction 1939
Vote77.74% (fourth ballot)

Edward Trowbridge Collins Sr. (May 2, 1887 – March 25, 1951), nicknamed "Cocky", was an American professional baseball player, manager and executive. He played as a second baseman in Major League Baseball from 1906 to 1930 for the Philadelphia Athletics and Chicago White Sox. A graduate of Columbia University, Collins holds major league career records in several categories and is among the top few players in several other categories. In 1925, Collins became just the sixth person to join the 3,000 hit club – and the last for the next 17 seasons. [1] His 47 career home runs mark the lowest home run total for a member of the aforementioned 3,000 hit club.

Baseball Sport

Baseball is a bat-and-ball game played between two opposing teams who take turns batting and fielding. The game proceeds when a player on the fielding team, called the pitcher, throws a ball which a player on the batting team tries to hit with a bat. The objectives of the offensive team are to hit the ball into the field of play, and to run the bases—having its runners advance counter-clockwise around four bases to score what are called "runs". The objective of the defensive team is to prevent batters from becoming runners, and to prevent runners' advance around the bases. A run is scored when a runner legally advances around the bases in order and touches home plate. The team that scores the most runs by the end of the game is the winner.

Manager (baseball) someone who manages a baseball team

In baseball, the field manager is the equivalent of a head coach who is responsible for overseeing and making final decisions on all aspects of on-field team strategy, lineup selection, training and instruction. Managers are typically assisted by a staff of assistant coaches whose responsibilities are specialized. Field managers are typically not involved in off-field personnel decisions or long-term club planning, responsibilities that are instead held by a team's general manager.

Second baseman defensive position in baseball and softball, played on the right side of the infield near second base

In baseball and softball, second baseman is a fielding position in the infield, between second and first base. The second baseman often possesses quick hands and feet, needs the ability to get rid of the ball quickly, and must be able to make the pivot on a double play. In addition, second basemen are usually right-handed; only four left-handed throwing players have ever played second base in Major League Baseball since 1950. In the numbering system used to record defensive plays, the second baseman is assigned the number 4.

Contents

Collins coached and managed in the major leagues after retiring as a player. He also served as general manager of the Boston Red Sox. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1939. [1]

Boston Red Sox Baseball team and Major League Baseball franchise in Boston, Massachusetts, United States

The Boston Red Sox are an American professional baseball team based in Boston, Massachusetts. The Red Sox compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member club of the American League (AL) East division. The Red Sox have won nine World Series championships, tied for the third-most of any MLB team, and they have played in 13. Their most recent appearance and win was in 2018. In addition, they won the 1904 American League pennant, but were not able to defend their 1903 World Series championship when the New York Giants refused to participate in the 1904 World Series. Founded in 1901 as one of the American League's eight charter franchises, the Red Sox' home ballpark has been Fenway Park since 1912. The "Red Sox" name was chosen by the team owner, John I. Taylor, circa 1908, following the lead of previous teams that had been known as the "Boston Red Stockings", including the forerunner of the Atlanta Braves.

Early life

Born in Millerton, a 384-acre village in Dutchess County, New York, Collins was unique in his time in that he was focused on both his athletic skills and his education and intelligence. [1] He graduated from Columbia University (where he was a member of Beta Theta Pi fraternity) at a time when few major league players had attended college. [1]

Millerton, New York Village in New York, United States

Millerton is a village in Dutchess County, New York, United States with a population of 958 at the 2010 census. The village was named after Sidney Miller, a railroad contractor who helped the people of that area with the introduction of the railroad system.

Dutchess County, New York County in the United States

Dutchess County is a county in the U.S. state of New York. As of the 2010 census, the population was 297,488. The county seat is the city of Poughkeepsie. The county was created in 1683, one of New York's first twelve counties, and later organized in 1713. It is located in the Mid-Hudson Region of the Hudson Valley, north of New York City.

Columbia University Private Ivy League research university in New York City

Columbia University is a private Ivy League research university in Upper Manhattan, New York City. Established in 1754, Columbia is the oldest institution of higher education in New York and the fifth-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. It is one of nine colonial colleges founded prior to the Declaration of Independence, seven of which belong to the Ivy League. It has been ranked by numerous major education publications as among the top ten universities in the world.

He started his American professional baseball career on September 17, 1906, when he signed with the Philadelphia Athletics at the age of 19. [2] When he signed with the Philadelphia organization, Collins was still a student at Columbia. He played some of his initial minor league games under the last name of Sullivan so that he could protect his collegiate status. [3]

Major league career

Philadelphia Athletics

Collins in 1911 Eddie Collins in 1911.jpg
Collins in 1911

After spending all but 14 games of the 1907 season in the minor leagues, [4] he played in 102 games in 1908 and by 1909 was a full-time player. That season, he registered a .347 batting average and 67 steals. He would also be named the A's starting second baseman in 1909, a position he would play for the rest of his career, after seeing time at second, third, short, and the outfield the previous two seasons. In 1910, Collins stole a career-high 81 bases, the first American League player to steal 80+ bases in a season, and played on the first of his six World Series championship teams. [5] [6]

Batting average (baseball)

In baseball, the batting average (BA) is defined by the number of hits divided by at bats. It is usually reported to three decimal places and read without the decimal: A player with a batting average of .300 is "batting three-hundred." If necessary to break ties, batting averages could be taken beyond the .001 measurement. In this context, a .001 is considered a "point," such that a .235 batter is 5 points higher than a .230 batter.

Stolen base

In baseball, a stolen base occurs when a runner advances to a base to which he is not entitled and the official scorer rules that the advance should be credited to the action of the runner. The umpires determine whether the runner is safe or out at the next base, but the official scorer rules on the question of credit or blame for the advance under Rule 10.

American League Baseball league, part of Major League Baseball

The American League of Professional Baseball Clubs, or simply the American League (AL), is one of two leagues that make up Major League Baseball (MLB) in the United States and Canada. It developed from the Western League, a minor league based in the Great Lakes states, which eventually aspired to major league status. It is sometimes called the Junior Circuit because it claimed Major League status for the 1901 season, 25 years after the formation of the National League.

Collins was renowned for his intelligence, confidence, batting prowess and speed. He is one of only five players to steal six bases in a game, and the only person to do so twice, with both occurrences happening within eleven days, on September 11 and September 22, 1912 respectively. [7] He was part of the Athletics' "$100,000 infield" (and the highest-paid of the quartet) which propelled the team to four American League (AL) pennants and three World Series titles between 1910 and 1914. [8] He earned the league's Chalmers Award (early Most Valuable Player recognition) in 1914.

$100,000 infield infield of the Philadelphia Athletics in the early 1910s

The $100,000 infield was the infield of the Philadelphia Athletics in the early 1910s. The $100,000 infield consisted of first baseman Stuffy McInnis, second baseman Eddie Collins, shortstop Jack Barry and third baseman Frank Baker. According to the Encyclopædia Britannica, the nickname reflects "the purported combined market value of the foursome," which is equivalent to about $2.7 million in 2018.

The World Series is the annual championship series of Major League Baseball (MLB) in North America, contested since 1903 between the American League (AL) champion team and the National League (NL) champion team. The winner of the World Series championship is determined through a best-of-seven playoff, and the winning team is awarded the Commissioner's Trophy. As the series is played during the fall season in North America, it is sometimes referred to as the Fall Classic.

Major League Baseball Most Valuable Player Award baseball award given to the most important player in each of the Major Leagues

The Major League Baseball Most Valuable Player Award (MVP) is an annual Major League Baseball (MLB) award given to one outstanding player in the American League and one in the National League. Since 1931, it has been awarded by the Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA). The winners receive the Kenesaw Mountain Landis Memorial Baseball Award, which became the official name of the award in 1944, in honor of the first MLB commissioner, Kenesaw Mountain Landis, who served from 1920 until his death on November 25, 1944.

In 1914, the newly formed Federal League disrupted major league contract stability by luring away established stars from the AL and NL with inflated salaries. To retain Collins, Athletics manager Connie Mack offered his second baseman the longest guaranteed contract (five years) that had ever been offered to a player. Collins declined, and after the 1914 season Mack sold Collins to the White Sox for $50,000, the highest price ever paid for a player up to that point and the first of only three times that a reigning MVP was sold or traded (the others being Alex Rodriguez in 2003 and Giancarlo Stanton in 2017, both to the New York Yankees). [9] The Sox paid Collins $15,000 for 1915, making him the third highest paid player in the league, behind Ty Cobb and Tris Speaker.

Chicago White Sox

Baseball Card E104collins.jpg
Baseball Card

In Chicago, Collins continued to post top-ten batting and stolen base numbers, and he helped the Sox capture pennants in 1917 and 1919. He was part of the notorious "Black Sox" team that threw the 1919 World Series to the Cincinnati Reds. However Collins was not accused of being part of the conspiracy and was considered to have played honestly, his low .226 batting average notwithstanding.

In August 1924, he was named player-manager of the White Sox and held the position through the 1926 season, posting a record of 174-160 (.521).

Return to the Athletics

Collins returned to Philadelphia to rejoin the Athletics in 1927 as a player-coach. He recorded only 143 plate appearances in his last four years, mostly as a pinch hitter. He did not play in any World Series games for the 1929 or 1930 World Series champion A's and his last appearance as a player was on August 2, 1930.

Collins finished his career with 1,300 runs batted in. To date, Collins is the only MLB player to play for two teams for at least 12 seasons each. Upon his retirement, he ranked second in major league history in career games (2,826), walks (1,499) and stolen bases (744), third in runs scored (1,821), fourth in hits (3,315) and at bats (9,949), sixth in on-base percentage (.424), and eighth in total bases (4,268); he was also fourth in AL history in triples (187).

He still holds the major league record of 512 career sacrifice bunts, over 100 more than any other player. He was the first major leaguer in modern history to steal 80 bases in a season, and still shares the major league record of six steals in a game, which he accomplished twice in September 1912. He regularly batted over .320, retiring with a career average of .333. He also holds major league records for career games (2,650), assists (7,630) and total chances (14,591) at second base, and ranks second in putouts (6,526). Collins is one of only 29 players in baseball history to have appeared in major league games in four decades.

Managing and front-office career

Following the A's 1930 World Series victory, Collins retired as a player and immediately stepped into a full-time position as coach for the A's. After two seasons as a coach, Collins was hired as the general manager of the Boston Red Sox. The new owner, Tom Yawkey, was a close friend and had bought the Red Sox at Collins' suggestion. He took over a team that had bottomed out from a long decline dating from their sale of Babe Ruth; the 1932 Red Sox had just finished with the worst record in franchise history, 43-111.

Collins remained GM through the 1947 season, retiring at age 60 after a period of declining health. [10] During his 15 years as general manager, Collins helped turn a dreadful team into a contender once again. After two years rebuilding the awful team he'd inherited, Collins managed winning seasons in seven of his final 12 years as general manager. His 1946 team won the Red Sox' first pennant since 1918. On the debit side, he instituted an unofficial policy of not signing black players—an unofficial league-wide policy that stayed in place until Jackie Robinson's signing by Brooklyn Dodgers GM Branch Rickey, and Robinson's debut with the Triple-A Montreal Royals in 1946—and ultimately the Red Sox were the last major league team to hire black players. Author Howard Bryant wrote that Collins' prejudice also extended to Jews and Catholics. [11] In May 2018, shortly after the City of Boston reverted the name of Yawkey Way to its original name of Jersey Street at the request of the Red Sox, plaques honoring Yawkey and Collins were remove from outside of Fenway Park; Collins' plaque had been in place since 1951. [12]

Collins was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1939. He struggled with heart problems for several years at the end of his life. He was admitted to a hospital in Boston on March 10, 1951, and he died there of the heart condition on March 25. [13]

Legacy

In 1999, he was ranked number 24 on The Sporting News' list of the 100 Greatest Baseball Players, and was a nominee for the Major League Baseball All-Century Team. He played on a total of six World Series-winning teams (1910, 1911, 1913, 1917, 1929, and 1930), though he did not participate in any of the final two series' games.

Under the win shares statistical rating system created by baseball historian and analyst Bill James, Collins was the greatest second baseman of all time.

His son, Eddie Jr., was an outfielder who played for Yale University. [14] He briefly saw major league action (in 1939 and 1941–42, all with the A's) and later worked in the Philadelphia Phillies' front office.

See also

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References

  1. 1 2 3 4 "Eddie Collins at the Baseball Hall of Fame". baseballhall.org. Retrieved 2017-04-29.
  2. Eddie Collins Statistics and History Baseball-Reference.com
  3. "Eddie Collins' rise in great baseball career". Reading Eagle . February 26, 1933. Retrieved December 13, 2014.
  4. Eddie Collins Minor League Statistics & History Baseball-Reference.com
  5. http://www.baseball-almanac.com/players/player.php?p=collied01
  6. https://www.baseball-reference.com/leaders/SB_leagues.shtml
  7. http://www.baseball-almanac.com/recbooks/rb_stba.shtml
  8. James, B. (2001). The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract. Simon & Schuster. pp. 548–550. ISBN   0-684-80697-5.
  9. https://sports.yahoo.com/giancarlo-stanton-first-mvp-immediately-traded-since-rod-012854010.html
  10. "Different Story Now". The Boston Globe . September 29, 1947. Retrieved December 15, 2014.
  11. Bryant, Howard. Shut Out: A Story of Race and Baseball in Boston. p. 28.
  12. Sullivan, Jack (May 21, 2018). "A missing pair of Sox". CommonWealth . Retrieved May 24, 2018.
  13. "Eddie Collins, baseball immortal, succumbs from heart condition". Ellensburg Daily Record . March 26, 1951. Retrieved December 13, 2014.
  14. Black, Lou (May 18, 1937). "Eddie Collins on day off, watches son play baseball". The Day . Retrieved December 13, 2014.