Dave Hollins was a big part of the shock-the-world 1993 Phillies. He was the starting third baseman, twice hit game-winning home runs in extra innings and made the All-Star team. Hollins scored 104 runs, had 18 homers and 93 RBIs.
Even though it's the 20th anniversary of that enchanted season, Hollins doesn't reflect much on those memories. He'd rather look forward. Which is probably a good thing, because that's sort of his job. Hollins is in his fourth year as a Phillies special assignment scout.
And even though it means Hollins still has to spend a lot of time on the road, he relishes the new challenge.
"The difference is that we make our own schedules," Hollins explained. "You have coverage, but you get to do it around your schedule with your family. When you're with a team, you're married to the team and its schedule, and there's really no flexibility. Whereas, if I need to be home for a big game or a graduation party or to take my son to a showcase or a girl's tennis tournament, I can block those days out and then go pick up my team on another day. As long as you get your coverage done, it's a different bit of a timeline.
"After 20 years on the field, I was ready for a break from the uniform and the grind. I enjoy doing my own thing and evaluating the players. It's a different group of guys today. A little more sensitive to the stuff we went through as players and I'm more comfortable evaluating them from that angle."
Hollins came to the Phils as a Rule 5 Draft pick out of the Padres organization following the 1989 season. It turned out to be an inspired pick.
Unfortunately, 1993 also turned out to be Hollins' high-water mark with the Phillies. He fractured the hamate bone in his hand the following spring and didn't recover until after he was traded to the Red Sox for Mark Whiten on July 24, 1995. Hollins went on to play for the Twins, Mariners, Angels, Blue Jays and Indians before returning to the Phils to close out his career. He played his last game for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in 2003.
In 2004 and '05, Hollins was a Minor League hitting coach in the Mets organization.
"Then I fell into a pro scouting job with the Orioles for four years," he said. "I really liked it and was lucky enough to be brought back to Philadelphia when [Ruben Amaro Jr. became general manager]."
Being able to make time for his family when he's not watching National League teams as well as the Phillies' affiliates is important. Hollins and his wife, Kerri, have three daughters (Karli, Haley and Jesse who are 18, 15 and 11) and two sons (David and Beau, 17 and 7). And they keep him busy.
"They're all really active in sports. The girls are tennis players. They play year-round. The boys are in football and baseball. So there's not a lot of down time," he said with a laugh. "It keeps me in shape. Those teenage daughters have a way of keeping Daddy in shape."
Looking back on '93, Hollins mentioned beating the Braves in Game 6 of the NL Championship Series at the Vet to advance to the World Series, the excitement with over 60,000 people at Veterans Stadium.
"It's been 20 years, so I don't dwell on it as much anymore," he said.
But Hollins does recall thinking in Spring Training that this was a team that had a chance.
"That was kind of the feeling with the additions we made, with Curt Schilling moving into the rotation [full-time] and bringing in Danny Jackson, and getting the bullpen solidified with some veterans [Larry Andersen, David West]," he noted.
"Even though we'd finished last, we were second in the league in runs scored in '92. So it wasn't about scoring runs. When we solidified the pitching staff, I think we thought we had the team to compete."
Hollins helped the '93 Phils make it to the World Series. Now, his focus is on trying to help the organization identify the players that will take them back again.
The 1993 Phillies will be saluted on Alumni Weekend, Aug. 2-4, with a focus on that bunch on Sunday the 4th. Hollins will be unable to attend as one of his sons is involved in a baseball tournament that same weekend. Many members of the '93 will return. All fans will receive a 1993 pennant on Aug. 4.
Paul Hagen is a reporter for MLB.com.