Monday, February 18, 2008

1953 Topps Project - Post #6

#9 - Joe Collins - New York Yankees

After the Warren Spahn card, it's time to come back down to reality here with another common...

Joe Collins was a New York Yankee for each and every game that he suited up for during his career in the majors. Playing for the Yankees during a period of absolute dominance, you could say that Joe ended up in the right place at the right time. He was fortunate enough to appear in 7 different World Series during his 10 year career, not too shabby at all.

Joe's career statistics are nothing to write home about. He did have a 4 year stretch between 1952 and 1955 when he hit at least 12 home runs and knocked in at least 44 RBI. He certainly carried his weight in the spotlight of the fall classic though, clubbing 4 career World Series home runs. The first one ended up being the winning run in game 2 of the '51 contest, evening the series at 1 game a piece with the New York Giants. The next broke a 5-5 tie in the bottom of the 7th innning in game 1 of the '53 World Series, putting the Yankees up for good. Joe also contributed 2 HRs and 3 RBI to the Yankees 6-5 game 1 win in the '55 World Series.

Joe nearly became famous for blowing game 7 of the 1952 World Series, when he lost a bases-loaded pop-up from Jackie Robinson in the sun in the bottom of the 7th. Had Billy Martin not made a miracle catch just inches from the ground, it is likely that Brooklyn may have won the game and the series.

Perhaps Joe was spoiled by all of this post-season success, as he decided to retire from baseball rather than honor a trade that would've sent him to Philadelphia for the 1958 season...

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