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Jimmy Collins

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James Joseph Collins

Inducted into Hall of Fame in 1945

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[edit] Biographical Information

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Jimmy Collins, who spent the majority of his fourteen-year career in Boston with the Beaneaters and the Americans, was a fine hitter but is best remembered for his defensive play as a third baseman.

As a rookie in 1895, Collins reached the majors with the Beaneaters before being loaned to the Louisville Colonels for the remainder of the season. Upon his return, he quickly became the regular for Boston at third. The team won the pennant in 1897 and repeated in 1898, when Collins hit .328 with a National League-high 15 homers.

Collins was one of the star players who defected from the National League to join the Boston Americans of the American League as player/manager in 1901. While he wasn't quite the star that Nap Lajoie and Cy Young were, his defection was still significant and helped to lend credibility to the new league. In his first year, he hit .332 as his team finished second. Two years later, in 1903, he led them to a pennant and a victory in the first World Series. They repeated as AL champs in 1904, but no Series was held that year.

After a slow start in 1906, Collins was replaced as Boston skipper by Chick Stahl, and the next season he was traded to the Philadelphia Athletics, with whom he ended his career.

Collins was regarded as the finest defensive third baseman of his day, and is widely credited with creating something resembling the modern style of third base defense. He is specifically credited with having developed the barehanded pickup and off-balance throw to first base in defending bunts.

Following his playing days, Collins spent three seasons as a minor league manager before leaving the baseball world. He wisely invested his savings in real estate and lived off that until they were wiped out during the Depression of the 1930s. After that, he worked in the Parks Department of his hometown of Buffalo.

Collins was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1945, two years after his death.

[edit] Notable Achievements

  • NL At Bats Leader (1900)
  • NL Total Bases Leader (1898)
  • NL Home Runs Leader (1898)
  • 100 RBI Seasons: 2 (1897 & 1898)
  • 100 Runs Scored Seasons: 4 (1897, 1898, 1900 & 1901)
  • Won a World Series with the Boston Americans in 1903
  • AL Pennants: 2 (1903 & 1904)
  • Managed one World Series Champion with the Boston Americans in 1903
  • Baseball Hall of Fame: Class of 1945


Preceded by
N/A
Boston Americans Manager
1901-1906
Succeeded by
Chick Stahl

[edit] Year-by-Year Managerial Record

Year Team League Record Finish Notes
1909 Minneapolis Millers American Association 88-79 3rd
1910 Providence Grays Eastern League 61-92 8th
1911 Providence Grays Eastern League 15-29 -- replaced by Jake Atz (39-69}

[edit] Further Reading

  • Charlie Bevis: Jimmy Collins: A Baseball Biography, McFarland, Jefferson, NC, 2012. ISBN 978-0-7864-6359-6
  • Charlie Bevis: "Jimmy Collins", in Bill Nowlin, Maurice Bouchard and Len Levin, eds.: "New Century, New Team: The 1901 Boston Americans", Society for American Baseball Research, Phoenix, AZ, 2013, pp. 49-57. ISBN 978-1-933599-58-8
  • Marty Friedrich: The Iron Men of Baseball, McFarland, Jefferson, NC, 2006, pp. 72-75.
  • Stanton Hamlet: "James Joseph Collins", in David Jones, ed.: Deadball Stars of the American League, SABR, Potomac Books, Inc., Dulles, VA, 2006, pp. 403-405.

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