A L U M N I A N S W E R S Tyler Collins NORTHWEST HIGH SCHOOL, CLASS OF 2009 Tyler Collins graduated from Northwest High School as a decorated baseball player, playing on the varsity team all four years and earning a starting role as a freshman on Baylor’s team. Since then, he has gone on to become the National Junior College Athletic Association’s Baseball Player of the Year after transferring from Baylor to Howard College. He intended to play for TCU, but his hard work paid off by being selected by the Detroit Tigers in the 2011 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft. His Tigers debut on March 31, 2014, made him Northwest ISD’s first known graduate to play in an MLB game. Over the past three seasons, Collins has play ed a minimum of 40 games a year for the Tigers, and more in the team’s system. He has amassed more than 100 hits with the Tigers and nearly 600 hits in the minor leagues, along with 13 MLB home runs and more than 70 minor league home runs. Northwest ISD caught up with Collins to discuss his career as well as what life is like for a professional baseball player. You were drafted by the Detroit Tigers in the sixth round of the 2011 MLB draft, an experience very few people earn. What was that process like – did the team give you an indication they were looking to possibly draft you? I received offers from a couple of other teams in a few earlier rounds, however nothing that was enough to stop me from attending TCU in the fall. Detroit had not called me, and I was playing Call of Duty in my living room when I heard the draft announcement I was selected. It wasn’t until a couple of hours later that the organization reached out. 12 Now that you’re in your fourth year of major league baseball, has the experience been what you anticipated, or is there anything that still takes adjustment? Baseball is baseball – it doesn’t matter what field you’re at or what jersey you are wearing. Where it does change is that it’s a business now, and there are decisions made that you have no control of. What’s the actual experience of being a professional baseball player like, in terms of your day-to-day process? The day to day is a grind. Especially as the season drags on – you really have to take care of yourself physically. For a 7 p.m. start, I usually get to the field around 1:30 p.m. Gym, training room, meals, cage work and batting practice all take place leading up to the game. Do you even think about there being a big crowd at a game, or is easy to tune out and play the game the same way you always have? Other than wanting to give away baseballs to kids, I couldn’t notice the surroundings any less! Hah.