Jim Collins Carries on Son’s Baseball Legacy After Tragic Car Crash in New Book

Earlier that evening, Jim Collins was playing baseball, coaching alongside his youngest son Michael as they prepared their team for the season opener. A late-night knock on the door assured that neither of them would make it.

Instead, Jim spent the next five days at the hospital waiting to hear if Michael would survive a car crash perpetrated by a drunk driver. He didn’t. Still, life and baseball continued. Now, Jim reveals how baseball bonded his family in life and death in “Uncommon Hope: One Team…One Town…One Tragedy…One Life-Changing Season.”

“Uncommon Hope” shares the story of the Collins’ family’s love for baseball and their strong faith in God. A revered head coach, Jim’s life is forever changed when his son Michael, his assistant coach, is killed by a drunk driver. Overcome with grief, Jim clings to his family and seeks comfort in God and ultimately honors his son by returning to their second home on the dirt diamond.

“The worst experience in life is losing a child, equally as difficult is trying to find a way to move on without them,” Collins said. “In my heart, I knew Michael wanted me to return to our team. Uncommon Hope encompasses a story so much more than just our family, this is about an entire community gathering around us and sharing in our love of the game.”

When Jim returns to his professional duties to coach the University High School Pioneers a spirit of camaraderie takes over the community as the teenage players and parents band together to support the team on the field. No on-field adversity could compare to what the team had been through after losing Michael, allowing them to push through an emotional season on the way to a regional championship.

“This story has a profound local impact on our University and Bloomington-Normal, but also changed…

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