As a veteran, Hollins was credited with helping youngsters Pat Burrell and Marlon Anderson when the veteran returned to the Phillies organization last season. Still, the tough-guy image came through and kept some young guys from being too accepting of Hollins friendship. "He tried to talk to others and I guess they thought he was too abrasive and they didn't take it too well," said Larry Bowa.
Dave Hollins got the chance to play in a World Series and there were a lot of better players who can't say that. For Hollins, being a member of macho row was life itself. He wasn't really just a member of "the row", he was one of the leaders. Maybe he wasn't always quite as scruffy as the Kruks and Daultons of the world, but he was right there with them.
Hollins introduction to Philadelphia was as that of an underdog. Mike Schmidt had retired and the Padres just happened to let Hollins - a third baseman - unprotected in the Rule 5 Draft. The Phillies snapped him up and kept him around. By 1992, Hollins took over at third base and hit a career high 27 homeruns for the Phillies. In '93, with Macho Row coming into its own, the Phillies pushed their way to the NL crown only to have Joe Carter steal it away.
Last season, Hollins was out almost all season because of a spider bite that became infected. Even though he wasn't playing, Hollins was a big part of the team behind the scenes, helping younger players and acting as an extra coach at times. This season, Hollins was at AAA Scranton and was struggling horribly. Hitting just .202 when Tyler Houston went down with a fractured finger, the 36 year old Hollins still hoped that he would be the one making the trip to Philly. When Nick Punto got the call, Hollins saw that the end was near.
Last weekend, the tough-guy stayed behind while his teammates went on a road-trip to Charlotte and Durham. Hollins spent the weekend soul searching and decided it was over. The Phillies figured he would reach that decision and acquired another AAA first baseman - Damon Minor - from the Giants.
Now, Hollins has made it all official and is calling it a career. He'll go down as one of the more popular members of the Phillies family. He was the perfect Philly type of player, who played hard and always refused to quit. Now, he has had to quit, but he didn't go without a whimper.
The future will likely include baseball for Hollins. The Phillies are aware of Hollins interest in coaching and may find a spot for him. Maybe those young guys will have to get used to him after all. Of course, with the Phillies major league hitters in a funk, a visit to Philly might not be out of order.