Clinton LumberKings’ third baseman Bubba Hollins and Clinton manager Mike Jacobs go back further than just the 2019 LumberKings’ season.
In fact, they go back further than Hollins’ baseball career altogether.
Hollins first met Jacobs in 2005. Hollins, just a young child, came with his father on Binghamton Mets trips. Dave Hollins served as the hitting coach for the Mets, where Mike Jacobs was just starting his career in AA.
“First time I met Jake [Mike Jacobs], my dad brought me in the locker room and he said to follow this kid around,” Bubba Hollins said.
And Bubba did.
“I followed him everywhere. I was in his back pocket is what he says,” Hollins said. “On roadtrips I would sit with him on the bus and end up falling asleep on him. Basically, grew up watching and learning from him. Being around him when he was playing ball was fun.”
With an All-Star major leaguer as a father it really is no surprise that Bubba Hollins followed down the same path as his namesake. What did surprise, though, was that his first manager with the Marlins was the same baseball player he followed around almost 15 years ago.
“It blew me away,” Hollins said. “Like, what are the odds of that happening.”
Hollins says that the effect of hanging around baseball at such a young age has stuck around, everyone from his father to his minor league skipper.
“When you’re watching the best player on that team and that league at that time, being around him at a young age it teaches you how to act, how to play the game and respect the game, how to treat your teammates and how to be a man around the clubhouse,” Hollins said. “That’s pretty cool.”
And when he’s at NelsonCorp Field and he sees a young girl along the third baseline with a glove in hand, a kid with eyes glued to the game or even the bat boys in the clubhouse for the first time, he thinks back to his first experiences with baseball.
“It’s translated,” Hollins said. “When they hang out with us, I think about me being in their shoes.”