Monday, February 12, 2007

100 Greatest Red Sox >> #87 Ray Collins

Ray Collins, SP, (1909-1915)

199 G, 90 CG, 1336 IP, 84-62, 2.51 ERA

Ray Collins, a native New Englander who was born in Vermont, pitched his entire seven year career in Boston. In his five years as a regular member of the Sox rotation the lefty posted a better than league average ERA and won at least 11 games. In 1910 he was just 13-11, but had a 1.62 ERA in 244.2 IP. His best two years in the win column came in ’13 and ’14 when he combined to win 39 games and tossed 519 innings. His biggest asset was his outstanding control. He allowed just 1.81 BB/9 innings over 1336 IP for his career. Out of all the pitchers who threw at least 450 IP as a member of the Red Sox only Cy Young, Curt Schilling, and Jesse Tannehill were able to better that mark.

Hall of Famer Ty Cobb was quoted on several occasions as saying that Collins was one of, if not the, toughest pitcher he ever faced. He apparently was able to handle all the Tigers pretty well. On September 22nd, 1914 he pitched an entire double header against the Tigers, going the distance in both games, beating them 5-0 and 5-3.

In 1915 the Red Sox, who would go on to win the World Series, had the best crop of young pitchers in baseball. Rube Foster, Ernie Shore, Babe Ruth, Dutch Leonard, Joe Wood, and Carl Mays (all of whom will be appearing later on this list) were so good that the 28 year old Ray Collins, coming off a 20 win season, was relegated to the bullpen. Collins never made an appearance in any of the 5 World Series games in 1915, but it was his second time being on a Boston team that won the Championship. He had a 1.88 ERA in 14.3 IP in the 1912 World Series win over the New York Giants.

Collins struggled in 1915 while coming out of the bullpen and took the failure so hard that he retired after the season stating that he was “discouraged by his failure to show old-time form.” Arm troubles may have also contributed to the early demise of his promising career.

Collins threw 90 shutouts for Boston, 12th most in team history and his 19 shutouts were good enough for 7th best. His 2.51 ERA ranks 6th all-time for the team, 1 point ahead of Pedro Martinez, although Collins was pitching in a different ERA. League average ERA during the years that he was pitching was 2.90, but still Collins finished his career with a very respectable ERA+ of 115.

After retirement he returned home to Vermont to work on his family’s farm and coach his former school’s baseball team at the University of Vermont. He died at the age of 82 in 1970 while still living in his home state.

Brian Martin used to write at Friendly Fenway, but he's a lazy bastard and let the site die.


Allen said...

Great profile, and great sig.

Brian said...

No jokes about how he swings though. And, even though I tried, there was no way I could work Jason Mews into it. I think you have the edge so far.

Allen said...

Ha. Well, still have to figure out how Mewes is connected to Brewer. Might have to be a 46 degrees of seperation type thing.

Brian Martin said...

Ah, I thought you already figured one out. You won't need 46 degrees though. We're all a lot closer connected than you think. I'm only 3 degrees away from Tom Glavine. I'm friends with a guy who used to work with his mother-in-law. I'm also only 3 degrees away from Ty Law. I work with a chick that used to sleep with Law's cousin.

If a nobody like me can be that close to Tom Glavineand Ty Law then anything is possible.

Francine said...

It won't really have success, I consider so.

Anonymous said...

Regards from Newtowncloghoge ;)

Feel free to visit my web site - printing services