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Notes: Hollins officially retires
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05/21/2003  7:38 PM ET 
Notes: Hollins officially retires
Third baseman was hitting .204 in Triple-A
By Ken Mandel / Vote now for the 2003 All-Star game
Dave Hollins last played for the Phils in September. (Gene J. Puskar/AP)
NEW YORK -- Dave Hollins, the highly intense third baseman on the 1993 World Series runner-ups, has officially retired.

Hollins, who turns 37 on May 25, last appeared in the Majors on Sept. 25, when he went 0-for-3 against the Braves. His last hit came on Sept. 9, at Shea Stadium. His best season came in 1992, when he hit 27 homers and drove in 93 runs.

As a player not offered arbitration by his previous club, Hollins couldn't re-sign with the Phillies until May 1. But, after no other teams expressed interest, the Phillies were able to sign him to a minor-league contract. He went to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, where he hit .204 with two home runs and 12 RBIs in 97 at-bats.

"That's why he quit," said manager Larry Bowa, who has known Hollins a long time. "He said he didn't like what was going on. He was hurt a lot. He played the game hard. He played the way you're supposed to."

High on the list of Bowa's memories of the player called "Head" -- because of his large cranium -- is the two-run home run off Greg Maddux in the fifth-inning of Game 6 that gave Philadelphia a 4-1 lead and catapulted the Phillies to the World Series.

"He was ready to play every day," said Todd Pratt, a member of the 1993 team. "He was our intense guy, the most intense I've ever seen. He had a great career. He should be proud of himself. He was at the highest level at one point and was a leader for us."

After leaving the Phillies in 1995, the switch-hitting Hollins logged nearly 10,000 baseball miles. His odyssey included Major League stops in Boston, Minnesota, Seattle, Anaheim, Toronto and Cleveland, and minor league ports of call in Syracuse, N.Y., Charlotte, N.C., Durham, N.C., Rochester, N.Y., Buffalo, N.Y. and Scranton.

He spent a majority of last season in the Phillies clubhouse, though he was on the disabled list for most of time because of spider bites. More mellow than in years past, Hollins helped develop some of the team's younger players, in areas such as conducting themselves at the Major League level or the proper amount to tip a clubhouse attendant.

"He taught me how to be a professional, and showed me what it takes to play at this level every day," said Pat Burrell, "He was somebody to bounce things off of. I feel bad for him, because it probably didn't end up the way he wanted it to, but he played (12) years, and that's everyone's goal. I'm not even half-way there and I respect what he's done.

"I'm gonna stay friends with him, probably forever."

Tug update: Two months of radiation treatments since getting a brain tumor removed hasn't stopped Tug McGraw. The former Phillies and Mets reliever has stepped out on occasion from the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, playing some golf and going out to dinner.

Earlier this month, McGraw made his first public appearance since the surgery to speak at a ball supporting Moffitt's lodging program. Three pictures of McGraw from the banquet were posted on his new website -- He is sporting a black tux and his bald head is covered by a cap with the inscription "You Gotta Believe."

McGraw hopes to visit Philadelphia soon, but must first get clearance from his medical team. He also wants to take part in the Phillies' salute to the team of the 1980s at Veteran Stadium.

Rusty Staub, a former Mets outfielder and teammate, stopped by manager Larry Bowa's office on Tuesday, while Bowa was meeting with the media.

"Tug said hello to everybody," Staub said.

This day at the Vet: 1980 -- Ramon Aviles, a part-time shortstop for the 1980 Phillies, hits the first of his two career home runs in a 9-8 win against the Reds. Aviles would get a total of 190 at-bats over four seasons with the Red Sox and Phillies.

Minor news: Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre: The Red Barons stroked 16 hits in a 2-1 win over Charlotte, including three each by Uriel Castillas and Chase Utley. Jeremy Salazar, Jason Knupfer, Travis Chapman and Kevin Sefcik has two hits each. ... Double-A Reading: Aaron McNeal smacked a grand slam in Reading's 8-7 loss to Erie. His four RBIs gave him 34 for the season, fourth best in the league. Single-A Clearwater: Gavin Floyd missed Tuesday's scheduled start due to illness. Layne Dawson started in his place and allowed two runs in seven innings. Single-A Lakewood: The BlueClaws begin a seven-game homestand Wednesday.

Ken Mandel is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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