MIDLAND, Mich. -- He's made visits back to his hometown over the years and he comes back to the region often, but this summer on Thursday, June 25th, one of Midland's all-time greats Terry Collins will visit Dow Diamond as the Great Lakes Loons host the West Michigan Whitecaps to
MIDLAND, Mich. -- He's made visits back to his hometown over the years and he comes back to the region often, but this summer on Thursday, June 25th, one of Midland's all-time greats Terry Collins will visit Dow Diamond as the Great Lakes Loons host the West Michigan Whitecaps to kick off the second half of the Midwest League season.
Collins, a 1967 graduate of Midland High, will also be the featured guest at the Michigan Baseball Foundation's Dine on the Diamond event held on the field at the ballpark on Wednesday, June 24th.
"Midland has always been home," Collins said. "I may live somewhere else, but I call Midland home. It was a great community to grow up in and I built great friendships there."
Click here for more information about Dine on the Diamond
Collins was instrumental in the Loons solidifying a player development partnership with the Los Angeles Dodgers when the team moved from Battle Creek in 2007. That relationship has remained for the entirety of the franchise's existence and is entering its 14th season this year.
"When we took our Dodger minor league team to Midland I knew, because of my growing up in Midland, that the players would have a great fan base and support to make their experience better," Collins said. "When I was young, we always had great community support. It will be an honor to see and speak with so many people when I'm there."
Before working in the Dodgers front office, Collins was a manager for the Houston Astros from 1994-96 and the Anaheim Angels for three seasons from 1997-99. That's when his baseball career took him overseas before returning to the U.S. and ultimately Los Angeles.
"When I heard that Midland had purchased a minor league franchise, I called Bill (Stavropoulos) immediately to set up a meeting to talk about bringing the Dodgers to Midland," Collins said. "After meeting the people involved, I really felt it was important to have Midland as an affiliate. So, I told Tommy Lasorda that I needed his help. He accepted and of course was the perfect ambassador for the Dodgers."
Collins was thrust into the national spotlight during a seven-year run as the manager for the New York Mets.
His most successful season came in 2015 when he led the Mets to a 90-win campaign, a series victory over the Dodgers in the National League Division Series, a sweep of the Chicago Cubs in the NLCS before falling to the Kansas City Royals in the World Series. It was just the fifth time the Mets had been to the World Series in their 57-year history.
"We're extremely excited to have Terry visiting us for a few days this summer," Loons President & General Manager Brad Tammen said. "Everyone here in Midland is proud of the accomplishments Terry has achieved throughout his career and we're forever grateful for all the hard work he put in to foster the Loons' partnership with the Dodgers when we were founded. This is a chance to celebrate one of the truly great people to have come out of this city."
Collins, 70, is the longest-tenured manager in Mets history and is second all-time in NYM wins (551) behind Davey Johnson's 595 wins. In total, he's compiled 995 wins as a major league manager. Drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1971, Collins played shortstop and second base at Eastern Michigan University.
The Great Lakes Loons have been the Single-A partner of the Los Angeles Dodgers since the team's inception in 2007. Dow Diamond serves as the team's home and also houses the Michigan Baseball Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit public charity, and ESPN 100.9-FM. For tickets or information about the Loons, call 989-837-BALL or visit Loons.com.