A versatile, slap-hitting speedster with good defensive skills, Collins emerged as
a base-stealing threat in spot duty with the Angels. He became a Mariner through the expansion
draft, but was peddled to Cincinnati a year later. He became a fair leadoff hitter,
usually platooned. He stole a career-high 79 bases in his only season as an
everyday player, 1980, and hit .300 twice for the Reds. He became a free agent after
1981 and signed with the Yankees, who were briefly infatuated with his speed. Except
for a big 1984 season with Toronto, when he led the AL with 15 triples while hitting
.308, he was an unspectacular performer, mostly used for his speed on the bases and
in the field, for the rest of his career.
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»August 24, 1983:
Making his only career appearance behind the plate, Oriole infielder Lenn Sakata catches the 10th inning against the Blue Jays and then hits a 3-run homer as the O's win, 7–4. Toronto goes ahead 4–3 in the top of the 10th after Cliff Johnson homers and Barry Bonnell singles. Tippy Martinez relieves Tim Stoddard and picks off Bonnell, walks Dave Collins and picks him off. Tippy then allows a Willie Upshaw single, and picks him off. Helped by the runners' eagerness to test Sakata, Tippy sets a never-to-be-topped ML record.