Eddie Collins, baseball hall of famer played for the Philadelphia Athletics for a number of years. During that time he lived in Lansdowne.
Note: Eddie Collins, one of the best second baseman of his day, lived in Lansdowne. Even 100 years ago there were contract negotiations, this article is from 1913.
EDDIE COLLINS OF LANSDOWNE
REFUSES GREATEST OFFERING
Turns down Offer From Federal League on Three-Year Contract
Eddie Collins, the worlds’ greatest baseball player and second baseman of the champion Athletics, yesterday morning turned down an offer of $50,000 to play on one of the Federal League clubs for three years. According to articles of the contract which Collins did not sign, he was to receive a salary of $15,000 a year for a three year contract. As a guarantee, the money was to be placed in any bank which the famous second sacker might designate, bearing interest, which at the end of the three years would amount to something over $50,000 in real money.
For some time the officials of the Federal League have been trying to get into communication with Collins for the purpose of finding out just how he stood on a proposition to jump from the White Elephants to an outlaw organization. Yesterday morning through Abe Einstein the formal offer was made to Collins. The proposition was thoroughly considered by Collins in all its phases while it was being placed before him by Mr. Einstein, but it took him only a moment to decide between sticking with his former teammates and bolting to another baseball organization which is not recognized in the diamond society.
WHAT COLLINS SAID – In refusing this offer, which is more than any amount ever offered a baseball player, Collins showed himself to be the high type of man that everyone knows he is, who has been in personal contact with him. “Of course, that is a great deal of money for three years’ work,” said Collins, “but I will tell you frankly that strange as it may seem, I don’t believe there is any financial offer that would induce me to leave Connie Mack. He is the man who made me and I wouldn’t under any circumstances leave him after what he has done for me. I don’t think either, that I would care to go into an outlaw baseball league at all, but I am sure that I would not do so as long as I am a member of the athletic club.”
SHOWED HIS LOYALTY – This loyalty on the part of Collins simply reflects the spirit of the entire Athletic Club and shows plainly one of the most potent factors in their consistent victories on the diamond. They are so loyal to Connie Mack and to each other that there is never a time when they do not pull together instead of trying for individual records as members of other clubs do. Eddie Collins himself is an example of this self-sacrifice on the diamond. Despite the fact that he is the greatest all-round ball player in the game, he could be even greater if he tried to make records instead of trying to assist his club in winning games.
For instance, on the bases there is not a better man in the world, not even excepting the terrible Cyrus Raymond Cobb. Eddie Collins doesn’t steal as many bases as Cobb and Milan of Washington, because he steals only when he ought to. He isn’t out after any base stealing record or any other record. He plays all the time to win games and he materially helps in accomplishing that. One day last summer Collins was instructed by Mack to get a base on balls. He went to the bat and tried to work the pitcher for the base, but the pitcher had control that day and would not be worked. The result was the Collin went out on strikes without attempting to hit the ball. He might have made a base hit had he struck at the flying ball, but he did what he was told to do and therein lies the secret of his success and that of the Athletics.
NEW YORK WANTED HIM – Naturally after having been made this flattering offer by the moguls of the Federal League, Collins wanted to know on what club he was wanted to perform. This information was not given him for the simple reason that it had not been definitely decided where he was to play had he signed the contract. However, it is understood that the New York people were the men who were originally behind the offer, and who wanted to see him play in the metropolis.
A high official of the Federal League is quoted as saying that it had not been fully decided where the clubs of the league would be placed but Said there was no chance for Collins to play in Philadelphia, as it was practically decided that no club would be put in that city. Baltimore is one of the cities of the Federal League list, and it might be that they intended Collins to play there.
The Federal League has made offers to a number of players in both the American and National League. It is said that the most prominent player thus far to have given his consent to play in the outlaw organization is George Stovall, former leader of the Cleveland Naps and St. Louis Browns.
Edward Trowbridge Collins, the game’s premier second baseman, was born in Millerton, N. Y., twenty-six years ago. Though he is a comparative midget in size he is a stocky youngster and shoots the beam up to the 170 mark when he steps on the scales.
Eddie played practically every game during the 1912 season and still retained his title of “King of Second Basemen.”
After, Eddie had gone through the elementary schools he entered Columbia College, and became the shining star of the baseball association.
He started at shortstop and played the position during his college years. As usual, Connie Mack’s advance agent booked the boy first. He was brought to Philadelphia and to obviate any trouble with the college faculty, about playing professional baseball. Collins played on the last western trip of the Athletics that year under the name of “Sullivan.”
The next year, however, Eddie was barred from baseball, and at the close of college joined the Mack men. He was tried in the outfield with a fair measure of success, and when the Athletics went on their southern trip that year, Collins was tried at shortstop. He failed to show, and Mack converted him into a second sacker, moving Murphy to the outfield. The rest is history.
Eddie developed into the best second baseman in the game, hitting and fielding in a wonderful fashion, while his speed on the bases was terrific. In addition, Collins was an exceptional quarterback while at college, had a penchant to be a journalist, and is devoted to the automobile. He also has a hobby for shirts, and he owns a chameleon collection.
Collins finished fifth in the American League batting records last year and led the Athletics in that department of the game. In 148 games he was at bat 534 times, made 184 hits for a total of 236 bases, and scored 126 runs. He finished with an average of .345 for the season, just forty-five points below Ty Cobb, who led the league and who played in twenty-six less than Eddie. In addition to his great batting ability, Collins is generally regarded as one of the best base runners in the game and ranks high as a base stealer. His fielding has won for him the title of the best second baseman in the game.