|Born: October 20, 1952|
Rapid City, South Dakota, U.S.
|June 7, 1975, for the California Angels|
|Last MLB appearance|
|October 3, 1990, for the St. Louis Cardinals|
|Runs batted in||373|
David S. Collins (born October 20, 1952) is a former outfielder in Major League Baseball from 1975 to 1990.
Collins is one of three players to have made it to the major leagues who played for the 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 in Rapid City. Collins currently holds the Toronto Blue Jays single season stolen base record with 60 steals in 1984.
David S. Collins was drafted in the first round of the 1972 draft from Mesa Community College by the California Angels. Collins 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. Collins was dubbed "fastest white man in baseball" because he ran the 100-yard dash in 9.6 seconds and had high stolen base totals.
Collins made his major league debut for the Angels on June 7, 1975, playing left field and batting leadoff, against the Milwaukee Brewers. Collins 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, Collins was selected by the Seattle Mariners with the 14th pick in the 1976 Major League Baseball expansion draft. Collins 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 Collins spent the subsequent four seasons with the Reds. Collins hit .318 in 1979 and .303 in 1980 (8th in National League) and also scored 94 runs (7th in National League) and stole 79 bases (3rd in National League).
Collins was signed by the New York Yankees as a free agent prior to the 1982 season.
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. Collins 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 also led the American league with 15 triples hit in 1984.
Collins was traded in December 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.
Collins was then traded to the Detroit Tigers for Bárbaro Garbey in November 1985. As a part-time outfielder with Detroit, Collins hit .270 and stole 27 bases.
Picked up by the Montreal Expos as a free agent after the season, Collins was cut during spring training.
Collins 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, Collins found some success, hitting .294 in 1987, but his average dropped to .236 in 1988. In 1989, he was released.
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, Collins recorded a .986 fielding percentage at all three outfield positions and at first base. Tommy John thought Collins was a better player on Astroturf fields (like Riverfront Stadium) than natural grass fields (like Yankee Stadium).
Collins played briefly for the Fort Myers Sun Sox of the Senior Professional Baseball Association.
Collins has volunteered at the Lighthouse Correctional Facility, conducting one-hour motivational and life skills sessions to young offenders, with the hope of enhancing and changing their lives.
Collins coached for various MLB organizations, 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. Collins 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. In 2018, Collins was an assistant coach at Miami University Hamilton, with focus on outfield and base running. As of 2019, Collins is an assistant coach at Indiana University Southeast.