Introducing Michael: For grieving father, Enid World Series HR video important part of son's legacy

ENID NEWS AND EAGLE | Dave Ruttenberg

ENID, Okla. — NJCAA Division II World Series week in Enid brings back many memories for Jim Collins. Memories that could best be considered bittersweet. Enid, after all, is where his baseball-playing son, Michael Collins, had his favorite moment as a player for the Heartland Hawks.

When Jim introduces people to his son, it is through the video of Michael’s home run in the 2012 World Series at David Allen Memorial Ballpark.

“He loved Oklahoma,” Collins said last week, discussing his book and the events that changed his life. “He loved showing the picture to people of him autographing baseballs like a big-leaguer at the dugout. He loved Enid and that ballpark.”

He would give anything to be able to introduce his son to you in person. But, he can’t.

Just two short years later, Michael, then a senior at Illinois State, lost his life when a drunken driver slammed into the car he was a passenger in, ironically with a completely sober designated driver at the wheel. It took Jim, a highly successful prep baseball coach in Illinois, down a dark, painful path, filled with grief and heartache and the inevitable feeling of why did this have to happen to him. But, through a strong sense of faith, a loving, strong family and a community that rallied around him and his family, he has come through it with a renewed sense of purpose. Continue reading


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