Wednesday, January 4, 2012

By Brian Waller - Feature Writer

Dave Hollins was a hard-nosed ballplayer with an old school mentality who had great success in the early 1990’s with the Philadelphia Phillies, garnering MVP votes for his 1992 season and being named to the 1993 All Star team. During the 1994 season Hollins was diagnosed with diabetes, a condition he would play with throughout his career. After leaving Philadelphia, Hollins played with the Boston Red Sox, Minnesota Twins and Seattle Mariners before becoming a free agent after the 1996 season. Hollins entered free agency coming off a productive year where he hit 16 home runs, 78 RBI’s and batted .262 for Seattle and Minnesota combined.

After finishing the 1996 season with respectable production at the hot corner from George Arias, Tim Wallach and Jack Howell, the Angels sought some stability at the third-base position going into the 1997 season. The Angels turned to former all-star free agent third baseman Dave Hollins. Hollins played two seasons with the Halos, hitting a total of 27 home runs, 124 RBI’s and batted .265. On March 30, 1999, shortly before the start of the regular season, The Angels traded Hollins along with cash considerations to the Toronto Blue Jays for Thomas Perez. Hollins would never again achieve the success he had in the early 1990’s with the Phillies and would also never come close to replicating the solid numbers he put up while wearing an Angels uniform.

For those wondering what ever happened to Hollins after leaving the Angels, he would play in only 43 major league games before finally retiring in 2003. Hollins did have success however in 2001 for the New York Mets Triple-A affiliate Buffalo Bison. Hollins hit 16 home runs, 67 RBI’s and batted .273. It seemed Hollins’ Triple-A success would translate into a storybook ending to his playing career as he signed back with the Phillies in 2001 as a free agent. Hollins even made the Phillies 25-man roster out of spring training in 2002 but collected only 17 at bats during the season. Hollins suffered several dangerous spider bites that aggravated his diabetes rendering him incapable of playing. On May 21, 2003, Hollins officially retired to his hometown of Orchard Park, New York where he lives with his wife and five children. It wasn’t long after retirement that Hollins felt the urge to return to the diamond; so in 2005 he became the hitting coach for the Binghamton Mets, a minor league affiliate for the New York Mets in the Class AA Eastern League. After one season with the Binghamton Mets, Hollins returned to the Phillies as a scout, a role he currently fills today.

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