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Gene Collins

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Eugene Marvin Collins

  • Bats Left, Throws Left
  • Height 5' 8" (SABR Database) to 5' 10" (Biographical Encyclopedia of the Negro Baseball Leagues), Weight 165-168 lb.

Gene Collins was a pitcher and outfielder in the Negro Leagues, minor leagues and Mexico. He threw a fastball and curveball and was noted for his pick-off move. Control was a major problem.

Collins broke in during 1947, going 0-1 for the Kansas City Monarchs. He improved to 9-3, 2.32 in 1948, finishing third in the Negro American League in ERA behind Jim LaMarque and Jimmy Newberry. He also tied LaMarque for second in winning percentage behind Alonzo Perry. He had a 8-4, 3.38 record in 1949, batting .299 as an outfielder and went 3-0 in 1950, while hitting .227. On May 27, 1949, he threw a no-hitter against the Houston Eagles but the contest went just 7 innings due to a mercy rule.

Signed by the Chicago White Sox, Collins broke into Organized Baseball with the 1951 Waterloo White Hawks. He was 7-2 with a 3.27 ERA and allowed only 45 hits in 77 innings but walked 93. He went just 9 for 59 at the plate.

In 1952, Gene made appearances for the Wisconsin Rapids White Sox (.284/~.347/.429 in 79 games) amd the Superior Blues (.267/~.333/.425 in 31 games). He split 1953 between Superior (10 for 51, 5 BB, 2B; 2-2 on the mound) and the Colorado Springs Sky Sox (1-1).

Collins then went to the Mexican League, signing with the Veracruz Eagle for 1955 and hitting .336/.404/.573; on the hill, he was 7-5 with a 4.62 ERA but he walked 104 and threw 12 wild pitches in 111 innings. He was 0-1 with a 3.18 ERA in 1956, walking 17 in 17 innings. At the plate that season, he hit .276/.347/.418 for Veracruz. In 1957, he batted .275/.332/.404 for Veracruz and had a 0-1 record.

Collins moved on to the Poza Rica Petroleros for 1958 and had a 5-3, 3.09 record for them. He walked 53 in 64 innings but allowed only 40 hits. Collins batted .324/.400/.539 with 26 doubles and 17 home runs. Gene was 2-4 with a 5.51 ERA in 1959, allowing 44 walks and 58 hits in 49 innings. He batted .281/.363/.400 for Poza Rica. That winter, he hit .356 for Pampero in the Venezuelan League to lead the circuit.

In 1960, the 35-year-old veteran hit .317/.391/.518 for the Petroleros and lost his only decision as a pitcher. In 1961, he wrapped up his career, hitting .280/.364/.458 between Poza Rica and the Mexico City Red Devils.

Overall, Collins hit .297/.371/.468 in 7 seasons in the Mexican League, with 82 home runs in 2,526 AB. He had a 14-15, 4.29 record in Mexico, walking 218 in 241 innings.

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