Garcia, Hollins headed to Hall

GarciaHollins.JPGFormer Bisons infielder and coach Carlos Garcia and former Bisons infielder Dave Hollins have been elected to the Buffalo Baseball Hall of Fame.

Garcia and Hollins will be induced as the 78th and 79th members of the Buffalo Baseball Hall of Fame on Sunday, August 16 in pre-game ceremonies as part of the Buffalo Baseball Hall of Fame Day. The Bisons face Lehigh Valley at 1:05 p.m.

The pre-game festivities will also include the induction of two former Bisons players in the International League Hall of Fame, pitcher Charles “Rube” Kisinger and outfielder Joe Knight. Members of both families are scheduled to be on hand to accept the award.

Bisons Infielder/Coach Carlos Garcia (1990-1992, 2003-2005)
Garcia was first signed by the Pittsburgh Pirates as an amateur free agent in 1987. His 15-year professional career as a player includes parts of three seasons with the Bisons, 1990-1992. He played 63 games with Buffalo in 1990 and then stole 30 bases in 127 games with the team 1991. In his third season with the team, Garcia hit .303 with 13 home runs, 70RBI and 21 stolen bases and was named an American Association mid-season All-Star.

In his Bisons career, Garcia ranks 3rd in the Modern Era in stolen bases (58), 8th in games played (303) and hits (304), tied for 8th in triples (15), 10th in doubles (59) and tied for 11th in RBI (148).

Garcia returned to the Bisons after his playing days, joining manager Eric Wedge’s coaching staff during the 2002 season. He was elevated to hitting coach under manager Marty Brown for the 2003 and 2004 seasons. The Bisons won the International League Governors’ Cup in 2004 with an offense that hit .297 and scored more runs than any IL team over the previous 50+ years.

Garcia also played 10 seasons at the major league level and hit .266 with 33 home runs, 197RBI and 73 stolen bases in 610 big league games. He broke in with Pittsburgh in 1991. Still qualifying as a rookie in 1993, Garcia hit .269 with 12 home runs and 47RBI in 141 games for the Pirates, finishing 9th in National League Rookie-of-the-Year voting. A year later, Garcia was a National League All-Star in a campaign that saw him hit .277 with six home runs and 28RBI in 98 games.

Garcia moved on to play in Toronto, Anaheim and San Diego before retiring as a player in 1991. The Lancaster, NY-native is now an instructor for the Pittsburgh Pirates minor league system.

Bisons Infielder Dave Hollins (2000-2001)
Orchard Park-native Dave Hollins was selected by the San Diego Padres in the 6th round (146th overall) of the 1987 amateur entry draft. He played 17 years in organized baseball, including parts of two seasons with the Bisons. Ten years after his major league debut in 1990, Hollins played five games with the Herd in 2000. He then returned for a full season in 2001, hitting .272 with 25 doubles, 16 home runs and 67RBI in 89 games with Buffalo and being named the Bisons Comeback Player of the Year.

Drafted by San Diego, Hollins moved to the Phillies organization after Philadelphia drafted him in the 1989 Rule V Draft. He played 72 with the Phillies that first season and 56 more in 1991. Then in 1992, Hollins hit .270 with a career-high 27 home runs and 93RBI in 156 games. He finished 20th in National League MVP voting.

In 1993, Hollins was a National League All-Star, matching his career-high of 93RBI and hitting 30 doubles, 18 home runs and a .273 batting average in 143 games. Philadelphia won the National League pennant before falling to Toronto in the World Series.

Hollins was traded to Boston in 1995 and moved on to Seattle, Minnesota, Anaheim, Toronto and Cleveland in his 12-year major league career. On August 29, 1996 he was traded from the Twins to the Mariners for a player to be named later. Two weeks later, Minnesota accepted first baseman David Ortiz to complete the trade.

All told, Hollins hit .260 with 112 home runs and 482RBI in 983 career big league games. He hit over 10 home runs in a season five times and drove in 78 or more runs four different seasons.

Hollins continues to reside in Western New York. He currently works as a scout for the Baltimore Orioles.

~ Ben Wagner

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