The thrill of representing your country in the World Baseball Classic is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for many, but for Astros coach Michael Collins, it’s become routine. Collins, an Aussie, will be coaching first base for the third time in the WBC, and he’s also played in the tournament twice for Australia. In this blog post, we’ll dive into Collins’ journey to the WBC, his history in the game, and the expectations for the Australian team.
Michael Collins, who is primarily responsible for working with Houston’s catchers, will be joining the Australian national team’s preparations for the World Baseball Classic in Japan later this week. The team has already been training together since the end of the Australian season, and Collins and the other coaches who are in professional baseball will join them on the fourth of March.
Collins is no stranger to long international flights, as he routinely travels to Australia each offseason to see his family. He’s also the first of a large contingent of Astros coaches and players who will leave camp to train with their countries.
The 37-year-old is from Canberra, Australia, and is in his fifth season with the Astros. He originally signed with the Angels as a 16-year-old and played 10 years as a catcher and first baseman in the Minor Leagues before retiring as a player after the 2010 season. Collins also managed his hometown Canberra Cavalry team to a championship in Australian Baseball League.
When it comes to the WBC, Collins has a deep appreciation for the sense of pride that comes with putting on your country’s uniform. He says the team always comes first and that the expectations are to go out and compete and try to play a quality ballgame. Australia is competing in Pool B with Japan, Korea, China, and the Czech Republic from March 9-13 in Tokyo, with Japan and Korea being the heavy favorites to move on. Australia’s best WBC finish is ninth place in 2017.
Join us as we follow Michael Collins’ journey to the WBC and cheer on the Australian team as they compete in Pool B.