How Collins' Opening Day start could yield a new tattoo originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
Zack Collins is in the White Sox lineup for the season-opener Thursday night, the first Opening Day start of his big league career.
And because Collins made it into the starting nine, Tony La Russa's lineup could wind up tattooed on someone's body.
Collins informed before Thursday's game in Anaheim that there's a rumor going around that his father is planning on celebrating his Opening Day start with a tattoo of the lineup.
"(My parents are) extremely happy for me," Collins reported. "My dad said he's going to get a tattoo of today's lineup, so I guess it's pretty meaningful for him. And obviously it's extremely meaningful for me, my first Opening Day start.
"This is just a rumor I heard that he's doing that. He already has a huge tattoo on his arm of me catching, so it's pretty cool. He got that when I got called up in '19, and now I guess (he's getting another for) my first Opening Day start."
Collins, of course, was honored to be included not only on the White Sox roster to start the season but in the Opening Day lineup, as well. It was a nice validation following a terrific spring in which he swung a hot bat and earned praise for his evolution behind the plate.
"A huge honor," he said. "Yasmani (Grandal) told me it took him six years to be in the Opening Day lineup, so obviously this is my second Opening Day roster, counting last year. To be in the lineup tonight is definitely exciting."
While Collins is the No. 2 catcher on the roster and figures to see plenty of action behind the plate, he could also be used, as he was on Opening Day, as a designated hitter, helping the White Sox to stem the negative effects of losing left fielder and impact bat Eloy Jiménez for the next five to six months.
As he said throughout the spring, he'll do what La Russa and the White Sox ask of him. If he can carry his offensive success from the spring into the regular season, he can indeed help the team make up for Jiménez's absence.
"I think I'll be able to definitely be able to see my true self," Collins said of his opportunity to play regularly this season. "From the time I started playing baseball, I've always been an everyday guy, through college, through my first couple of years in professional baseball. I'm used to that everyday role, and obviously it (was) a little tough for me sporadically getting at-bats before.
"Now, if I get more consistent at-bats, I think I'll do a lot better. It's going to be exciting."
And who knows, if he gets enough playing time and has enough success, maybe there's another tattoo in the cards for his dad.
La Russa's lineups are works of art already, as written out by White Sox catching instructor Jerry Narron, but the Hall of Famer admitted this is the first he's hearing of anyone getting one of his batting orders tattooed on their body.
He's all for it.
"That's a dedicated dad. I certainly would encourage him to do it," the South Side skipper said upon hearing of Collins' dad's plan. "He earned it. We're trying to win this game today with our best lineup. He made himself part of the best lineup."
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