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Dave Collins



Rapid City (RC Stevens High School, ‘71). Had the longest big-league career of any South Dakotan. Perhaps the fastest player in all of baseball during his big-league career, the outfielder played for eight teams over 16 years (1975-90): California, Seattle, Cincinnati (twice), the New York Yankees, Toronto, Oakland, Detroit and St. Louis. It was in 1979 and ‘80 with the Reds that he emerged as a top-notch big-leaguer, hitting a career-best .318 in ‘79 and hitting .303 with 94 runs scored and a career-high 79 stolen bases (third-best in the league) in 1980. After the ‘81 season, he signed a big-money free-agent contract with the Yankees, a five-year deal at about $750,000 a year. In 1984, he had his only other .300 year, hitting .308 for Toronto with a career-high and league-leading 15 triples and 60 stolen bases (second-best in the league). A 5-foot-10, 170-pound switch-hitter, Collins finished his career with a .272 average and among the top 35 career leaders in stolen bases (395). He played in the postseason once, hitting .357 (5-for-14) for the Reds in the league championship series in 1979. He was a first-round draft pick of the California Angels out of Mesa (Ariz.) Community College in 1972. After his playing days he was a first-base coach with St. Louis (1991-92), Cincinnati (1999-2000), Milwaukee (2002), Colorado (2003-06) and Florida (2010). In his senior year of high school, he was all-state in football and basketball, set the state 100-yard dash record of 9.6 seconds and was the state’s Legion baseball player of the year.

 




























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