Staff Spotlight

Dave Collins

Former Cincinnati Reds player and IU Southeast coach signs baseball cards for fan

Baseball has always been the sport that links generations together. The teams they root for are passed down from parent to child. That was true for the Ritchie family as well. John Ritchie had grown up outside of Cincinnati, and not surprisingly had become a fan of the Cincinnati Reds before joining the Navy and settling in Norfolk, Va. to raise a family. He was a fan through the peak of the Big Red Machine days of the 1970s, the rebuild of the 1980s and the wire-to-wire World Series championship of 1990. He passed that fandom down to his grandson, John Ritchie III, who reached out to IU Southeast baseball assistant coach and former Cincinnati Reds player Dave Collins to autograph some of his baseball cards for his grandfather as a birthday gift after the elder Ritchie had battled some health issues in recent years.

Ritchie sent six of Collins’ baseball cards from his playing days in Cincinnati and Collins was able to sign them when the team returned from winter break in January. They were signed and mailed back to the Ritchie’s as a late birthday gift for Big John from his grandson.

Collins was an outfielder and first baseman during his playing career, which spanned from 1975-1990. He played for eight different teams, including seven seasons with the Cincinnati Reds. He appeared in 1,701 games and recorded 187 doubles, 52 triples and 395 stolen bases and had a .272 batting average. After his playing career ended he joined the coaching ranks and was a major league coach for 10 seasons. He joined the St. Louis Cardinals coaching staff 1991 under Joe Torre, and he was on Cincinnati's staff under Jack McKeon in 1999 when the Reds won 96 games. In 2010 he was the Florida Marlins first base coach. Collins joined the Grenadier coaching staff prior to the 2020 season and he serves as the bench coach.

Signed Dave Collins baseball cards.