New York Mets manager Terry Collins has bounced around the ranks of baseball for 40-plus years. Now he’s in his first World Series.
By William Chase
Manager Terry Collins is in his first World Series as his New York Mets prepare to take on the Kansas City Royals. He’s been an under .500 skipper throughout his career, and his time with the Mets no different – 401-418 including postseason. He has had to face questions and scrutiny surrounding his job security, seemingly his whole career.
It was no different this past July when the Mets hit an offensive dry-spell, and their midseason swoon of 10 losses in 14 games fueled talks of a possible in-season change.
The past doesn’t matter now. Collins, in his first postseason as a manager, is making the most of it with this youthful, energetic group.
He’s had the luxury of riding his power arms of Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, and Steven Matz. Daniel Murphy‘s sizzling October-bat powering the lineup makes the dry offense during the dead of summer feel like a very distant memory.
If you thought that club that went 12 of 14 games scoring two or fewer runs would be the one cruising to the World Series now, you’d be kidding yourself, but alas they are here, and here we are.
A Mets team who entered this World Series seven up, three down through their first 10 postseason games, this team is feeling mighty confident as they go up against a Royals team that’s been here before.
You probably know quite a bit about Murphy and those aforementioned starters, but what about the man guiding this club?
Who is Terry Collins?
The 66-year-old Collins has had quite the excursion throughout his baseball career. As the skip who never made it as a Major Leaguer as a player, this is a manager who was fired from Houston — his Astros’ teams finished 2nd place 1994-96 — resigned from the Anaheim Angels in 1999 amid inept play and infighting, and after a stop-over in Japan, finds himself in the World Series.
From humble beginnings, Terry Lee Collins hails from Midland, Michigan, where he was a baseball standout for Eastern Michigan and winner of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics National Championship. His professional baseball days endured time in the minor leagues within the Pittsburgh Pirates and Los Angeles Dodgers organizations. Rather than trying to hang around the game as a Triple-A player, he moved on to managing.
He won the Triple-A championship with the Albuquerque Dukes, then took a job alongside Jim Leyland and his staff with the Pittsburgh Pirates where he was the bullpen coach.
As Leyland said in an interview Monday regarding Collins:
You could tell he just had a passion for the game. He just had a real feel for it. You could tell even back then he wanted to pursue a career in it — a long career in it. You could tell he wanted to accomplish something. And obviously, he’s done that.
He also coached with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in 2001. Around the time he found himself managing in Japan with the Orix Buffaloes before resigning in 2008, and thinking his managing career was coming to a close, he found his next opportunity with the Mets.
Starting out as the minor league field coordinator in New York, Collins officially became manager of the Mets November 23, 2010.
The New York Mets will host their first World Series games since 2000 and Terry Collins will enjoy every lasting second. It’s taken him this long to get here, he’s not about to let it pass by him.
As quoted by MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo regarding Collins:
I’m thrilled to death to be here. I can honestly tell you, baseball for 45 years, it tells you how hard it is to get here. So you better enjoy it, and I’m enjoying it.
It’s a fun story to root for, a bit of an underdog role that Collins and the Mets seem to embrace. Collins has persevered so much from his days starting in Michigan, and if there’s anything he’s learned, it’s to cherish every second.
Who knows how many more of these opportunities he may have.