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Posted September 22, 2005
Baseball, Baseball, Baseball...
By Kevin Devlin

Local coach loves the game and loves coaching kids.

     He coached football for three seasons in the South Boston Pop Warner Football League.

     He was part of the coaching staff in 2002 that took their “D” team to the Bay State League championship game, and went home with a tremendous victory against Weymouth.

     After that, he decided to spend all of his time managing baseball teams in the local Little League.

     His baseball squads made the playoffs for three consecutive seasons, in 2003, 04, and 05.

     In 2003, his team, the Firefighters, captured the coveted Little League title. The team compiled a 21-3 regular season record and then was near-perfect in the playoffs with a 5-1 mark. His assistants during that time were Tommy Connolly and John “Neezo” Nee.

     He has been the Little League Secretary for the past three seasons, and as such, he helps other board members with the scheduling, tryouts, and the mountain of paperwork that’s necessary for the success of any youth sports organization.   

     His name is Billy Collins.

     Billy Collins manages because he loves baseball, he enjoying being with the kids, and feels that it’s his obligation to give back to a community that gave him so much when he was wearing young man’s britches and playing in the parks in Southie.

     “When I was growing up, there were coaches like Nelson Shallmo, Billy Hurld, Moocha Mahoney, and John “Injun” Horan who were always there for the kids,” said Collins. “I got involved because I felt it was my obligation to give back, to help out, and it’s a good thing to do.”

     Collins knows the importance of keeping the kids busy, off the streets, and out of trouble. He feels they need structure, knowledge of the game, and loads of playing time to improve their game. 

     “It’s important to get the youngsters down to the field,” Collins said, “I like teaching the kids discipline and fundamentals. I want as many kids as possible playing this game even though I know they have many other distractions. I would have them play until October if I could. They need to be able to play a lot. We can give them the tools and point them in the right direction, and the rest is up to them.”

     When playoff time comes to Southie, Billy is usually up at the Stop and Shop, buying the hot dogs, hamburgers, and tonics for the kids for the games that night. He feels they deserve it after a long, hot, and trying season.

     He also feels that there’s plenty of room for more adult involvement, a need for additional volunteers to carry the torch, as they say. Little League all together has the T-Ball League, the Rookie League, the Minor and Major League, the Williamsport teams, the travel teams, and the Suburban League teams.  So, there are plenty of teams that need managers and coaches.

     “Youth sports needs volunteers who have either played the game or have knowledge of a particular sport,” Collins added.  “We will always need additional people to help out, enthusiastic people with new and fresh ideas that will benefit the kids. So, come on down.

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If Billy Collins could, he would play baseball year round.