Terry Lee Collins was born on May 27, 1949 in Midland, Michigan. Collins began playing in the minor leagues in 1971 as an infielder in the Pirates organization. He was traded to the Dodgers system next, and played 10 years of minor league ball, batting .255 but never making it to the major leagues. He began to coach & then mange in the minor leagues for the same two organizations into the nineties.
He got his first managerial job in the majors with the Houston Astros in the 1994 strike shortened season, replacing Art Howe who was fired after the 1993 season. In Collins’ first season at the helm, he posted his best winning percentage of .574 (66-49). He managed in Houston for three seasons, finishing in second place every year, posting winning records each time. The Astros fell off at the end of the 1996 season, finishing at 82-80 and Collins was dismissed.
In less than a month he was hired to manage the Anaheim Angels. The previous year the Angels had finished fourth and went through three different managers; Marcel Lachemann John McNamara and Joe Maddon. Collins led the Angels to two straight second place finishes, & after an injury ridden team was to finish fourth in 1999, he stepped down. He had lost the confidence of his players although the front office wanted him to stay.
So what has been doing the last decade? In 2001 he was coaching with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, first as their bull pen coach & then moving on to being their third base coach. In 2005 Collins was in line to be the next Dodgers manager under then GM Paul DePodesta. But when Depodesta was fired, that didn’t work out. Obviously Depodesta now the Mets, VP of Player Development, had some positive things to say to Mets GM Sandy Alderson about Collins.
In 2004 he was one of three finalist for the Mets managerial job, but it went to Willie Randolph instead.
Collins went on to manage in Japan, for a one full year but then resigned during the following season. By 2009 he was the manager for the China national baseball team, in the World Baseball Classic. In 2010 he came to the New York Mets organization as a minor league field coordinator, and will now guide them as manager for the 2011 season. Reports say he will get a two year deal.