I’ve known Jim Collins for years. Although we met through baseball, it just so happens that Jim and his three siblings grew up a couple of houses away from my wife and her three siblings in the tiny town of Towanda, Illinois, right on Route 66. I wish that my interview with Jim in this episode could have been entirely about baseball, as Jim is not unlike previous guests, having grown up playing baseball and subsequently coaching. In fact, Jim was a very successful coach, leading Normal (IL) University High School to the Illinois High School Association 2A state championship in 2012.
This story, however, while built on a baseball foundation, is about a tragedy that occurred in the spring of 2014, when Jim’s son, Michael, was killed by a drunk driver. Michael had completed a very successful high school career at Normal (IL) Community West High School and then two years at Heartland Community College, also in Normal. He made the decision not to further his baseball career at a four year school, but instead stick around town and complete his education at Illinois State University. While finishing his degree, Michael helped his dad coach the team at University High School. It was here that the story takes a tragic turn.
In this episode. Jim Collins talks about, Uncommon Hope, the book that came from these events, the Michael Collins (MC Strong) Foundation, and all of the amazing developments that have come in the wake of this tragedy. Jim also discusses what he’s learned personally about life and baseball.
You can get more information on Jim’s book, Uncommon Hope, at Amazon.com.
Intro Music: Matt’s Blues, Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)