Courtesy Associated Press
Photo courtesy of Courtesy of NCAT Sports Information
(ISN) – GREENSBORO, N.C. – Former North Carolina A&T right-hand pitcher and World Series champion Al Holland will be inducted into the National College Baseball Hall of Fame. The celebration will be held June 28-29 in Lubbock, Texas. Holland is a part of the eight-man 2015 National College Baseball Hall of Fame class.
“This class features players and coaches with some incredible superlatives,” said Mike Gustafson, executive director of the College Baseball Hall of Fame. “There are some unique and outstanding accomplishments by the individuals in this class.”
Holland pitched A&T from 1972-75 before beginning a 10-year Major League Baseball career. He threw four no-hitters in college, one in each year he pitched. His no-hitter in 1972 against rival N.C. Central included 25 strikeouts. As a freshman in 1972, Holland led the nation in strikeouts (143) and was second in ERA (0.54). The following year, A&T’s last in NAIA, he recorded an ERA of 1.03 and added another 102 strikeouts.
Even though the Aggies moved up to the NCAA level, Holland continued to dominate his opponents over the next two years with a 0.95 ERA and 105 strikeouts in 1974 and a nation-leading 0.26 ERA and 118 strikeouts in 1975. Holland was a two-time NAIA All-American in 1972 and ’73. He was named to the MEAC Hall of Fame in 1993.
Holland was drafted twice in the MLB draft. He was selected by the Texas Rangers in the 30th round in 1974 but returned to school and was drafted by the San Diego Padres in 1975 in the fourth round. He was not signed until he inked a deal with the Pittsburgh Pirates as a rookie free agent in 1975. He finished seventh in the NL Rookie of the Year voting.
He was traded to the Phillies in 1983 where he made his biggest MLB impact. Holland posted a career-best 2.26 ERA in 1983 with a career-high 100 strikeouts in 91.2 innings with 25 saves as he earned the Rolaids Relief Man of the Year Award. The Phillies clinched the pennant the same season thanks to Holland striking out three batters in two innings. He also saved Game 1.
The following year he saved 29 games for the Phillies and was selected to the 1984 MLB All-Star Game. He finished his career in 1987 as a New York Yankee with 34-30 career mark with a 2.98 ERA and 78 saves.