EMU alum and current New York Mets manager will headline baseball's Lead Off Dinner

New York Mets manager Terry Collins looks on from the dugout against the Cincinnati Reds at Citi Field on Tuesday, September 27, 2011, in New York. (Jim McIsaac/Newsday/MCT)

New York Mets manager Terry Collins will make a return to his alma mater, Eastern Michigan University, on Feb. 7 as a guest speaker for EMU baseball’s lead-off dinner.

Collins will receive the Ron Oestrike Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award, an honor given to former baseball players at EMU who have demonstrated success after leaving college.

“The EMU baseball program is proud to call Terry Collins one of our own,” first year EMU coach Mark Van Ameyde said in a statement. “He has had a tremendous career both from his college days at EMU as well as in the professional ranks. We are excited that he will be able to make it back to campus for the dinner, receive the OAK and speak to our team and our guests.”

Collins attended EMU from 1968-71 before becoming the manager of the Houston Astros (1994-96), Anaheim Angels (1997-99) and the New York Mets (2011-present) and has amassed a 748-778 record between the three teams. He was also inducted in the E-Club Athletics Hall of Fame in 1994.

In the four years Collins played at Eastern, he posted a career .285 average and led the team in steals each season. He led EMU to an NAIA National Championship in 1970 and was named the Outstanding Defensive Player of the tournament.

The lead-off dinner will support the baseball program and will be held a week before the current team opens the season on the road at the University of Arizona from Feb. 13-15. The dinner is open to the public and will begin at 6 p.m. Cost for attendance is $125 for adults and $25 for children under the age of 12.

By Christopher Pasatieri / Newsday

New York Mets manager Terry Collins (10) sits in the dugout prior to the game against the Florida Marlins at Citi Field in New York, Tuesday, May 17, 2011. The game was postponed due to weather. No make update was announced. (Christopher Pasatieri/Newsday/MCT)

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