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Eddie Collins

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Note: This page links to Eddie Collins, Sr., the Hall of Fame player. For his son who played from 1939 to 1942, click here.

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Edward Trowbridge Collins Sr.
(Cocky)

Inducted into Hall of Fame in 1939

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[edit] Biographical Information

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"I doubt if anyone will dispute my selection of Eddie Collins as the greatest second baseman of all time . . ." - John McGraw, writing in 1923
"He was the greatest second baseman I had ever seen. . .Plays which were difficult for even a finished infielder were made to seem easy." - Bucky Harris, writing in 1925, quoted by Bill James
"He was the greatest second baseman who ever lived." - Connie Mack

Hall of Fame second baseman Eddie Collins hit .333 over a quarter century in the major leagues and was a member of four World Series champions but never won a batting title and was often overshadowed by Ty Cobb during the course of career.

While still attending Columbia University, where he was a star baseball player and quarterback on the football team, Collins made his major league debut in 1906. The youngest player in the majors at the time, he joined the Philadelphia Athletics, playing under the pseudonym "Sullivan". By 1909, he became the Athletics regular second baseman and finished second in the American League with a .347 average. Over the next six seasons, he hit over .300 every year, and his club became a dynasty, winning the World Series in 1910, 1911, and 1913. Along with shortstop Jack Barry, third baseman Frank Baker, and first baseman Stuffy McInnis, Collins formed a core of the club often known as the "$100,000 infield". Twice in 1912, he stole 6 bases in a single game, a major league record. In 1914, he hit .344, scored 122 runs, and was named the AL Most Valuable Player as the Athletics reached the World Series once again.

After the 1914 season, Athletics owner/manager Connie Mack dismantled the club and sold Collins to the Chicago White Sox. In 1917, he had his worst season in the majors up to that point, hitting below .300 for the first time as a regular, but he starred for the Sox in the World Series, hitting .409 and scoring as his team beat the New York Giants for the championship. Collins struggled again in 1918 (partially due to his military service during World War I), but returned to form in 1919, beginning another streak of ten seasons over .300.

Collins was reportedly the highest paid member of the Sox at the time, which distanced him from several of his teammates who were part of the Black Sox Scandal. In fact, he reported suspicions of wrongdoing late in the 1920 season to owner Charles Comiskey, who dismissed them. He did, however, serve as a witness for the prosecution when the players went on trial the following year.

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Collins took over as the White Sox manager in 1924 and was player/manager of the club through 1926. After he was let go by the Sox, he returned to the Athletics, with whom he was primarily a pinch hitter through 1930. After his playing days ended, he remained with the team as a coach in 1931 and 1932. In 1933, Collins joined the Boston Red Sox as General Manager, and he remained with the team in a front office role until his death in 1951.


Collins' son, Eddie Collins, Jr., played for the Athletics for several seasons and later worked in the front office of the Philadelphia Phillies.

[edit] Notable Achievements

  • AL MVP (1914)
  • 3-time AL Runs Scored Leader (1912-1914)
  • AL Bases on Balls Leader (1915)
  • 4-time AL Stolen Bases Leader (1910, 1919, 1923 & 1924)
  • AL Singles Leader (1913)
  • 100 Runs Scored Seasons: 7 (1909, 1912-1915, 1920 & 1924)
  • 200 Hits Seasons: 1 (1920)
  • 50 Stolen Bases Seasons: 6 (1909, 1910, 1912-1914 & 1917)
  • Won six World Series with the Philadelphia Athletics (1910, 1911, 1913, 1929 & 1930; he did not play in the 1929 & 1930 World Series) and the Chicago White Sox (1917)
  • Baseball Hall of Fame: Class of 1939
Preceded by
Johnny Evers
Chicago White Sox Manager
1924-1926
Succeeded by
Ray Schalk
Preceded by
Unknown
Boston Red Sox General Manager
1933-1947
Succeeded by
Joe Cronin

[edit] Records Held

  • Sacrifice hits, career, 511
  • Sacrifice hits, left handed batter, career, 511
  • Stolen bases, game, 6, 9/11/1912 and 9/22/1912 (tied)
  • Games, second baseman, career, 2650
  • Assists, second baseman, career, 7630

[edit] Further Reading

  • Rick Huhn: Eddie Collins: A Baseball Biography, McFarland, Jefferson, NC, 2007.

[edit] Related Sites

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