Dave Collins' love of baseball launched a 16-year Major League Baseball career. His South Dakota high school didn’t have a baseball team because snow and ice covered the fields during the season. He honed his skills during warmer months playing on the American Legion Post 22 baseball team.
Fortunately, Dave became a Thunderbird and All American on the MCC 1971 NJCAA national championship team, the second of three of the college’s NJCAA World Series championship teams. Dave’s playing on the winning team brought him scouting attention and kicked off his MLB career. After a year at MCC, the California Angels selected Dave in the 1972 MLB Draft. Spending two years in the minors, he earned the call up to the majors in Anaheim. A rare expansion draft resulted in him being selected by the Seattle Mariners for the 1977 season. On opening day, he took the franchise’s first at-bat and two days later scored the team’s first home run.
The next year he was traded to the Cincinnati Reds, where he set his 1980 record stealing 79 bases. He no doubt has some great stories of playing alongside team legends Pete Rose, Johnny Bench, and manager Sparky Anderson. In 1981 Dave was signed by the New York Yankees and he met his idol Mickey Mantle. Traded to the Toronto Blue Jays, Dave set their record of 60 stolen bases in a single season. For the next five years, he played for a number of MLB teams, concluding in 1990 with the St. Louis Cardinals. With his experience and personality, he went on to coach a number of MLB teams.
For a link to the full video of the ceremony, please visit MCC Hall of Fame 2022.