In San Diego, Collier covered the Pacific Coast League San Diego Padres until the Brooklyn Dodgers moved to Los Angeles. For the next decade, he covered both Dodgers and Los Angeles Angels games for the San Diego Tribune. Collier was the sportswriter who Sandy Koufax called to inform the world of his sudden retirement.
When San Diego was awarded the San Diego Padres, Collier began covering the team, which he would do for 18 seasons. In 1987, Collier became the national baseball columnist for the Tribune. He continued to write for the Tribune after their merger with the San Diego Union in 1992. He retired from the paper in 1996.
- "Phil Collier; Hall of Fame San Diego Sportswriter". Los Angeles Times. February 27, 2001. Retrieved March 29, 2015.