Al Holland

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Alfred Willis Holland
(Mr. T)

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Biographical Information[edit]

Pitcher Al Holland saved 78 games during his major league career, making the All-Star team once and earning a Rolaids Relief Award.

Holland was a two-time NAIA All-American, leading the NAIA in ERA (0.54) and strikeouts (143) as a freshman and posting a 1.03 ERA as a sophomore. He had a 0.95 ERA when NC A&T moved up to the NCAA in 1974 then led the nation with a 0.26 ERA in 1975.

After being drafted by the Texas Rangers and San Diego Padres, neither of whom signed him, Holland signed as a free agent with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1975. He earned a cup of coffee in the Pirates bullpen in 1977 before being dealt to the San Francisco Giants as part of a six-player swap in June of 1979. The next summer, in 1980 he became a set-up man to closer Greg Minton and posted a 1.75 ERA in that role.

Following the 1982 season, Holland was dealt to the Philadelphia Phillies. He became the team's closer and recorded a club-record 25 saves while striking out 100 batters. In addition to finishing second in the National League in saves, he was named the NL's Rolaids Relief Award winner. His team reached the World Series that October, falling to the Baltimore Orioles, and he saved a pair of postseason games. He earned the nickname "Mr. T", after the fearsome-looking character on the hit television show The A Team, because of his goatee and hard stare.

In 1984, Holland again broke the Phillies' single-season saves record with 29 (a mark eventually bested by Steve Bedrosian) and made the NL All-Star team. Early the following year, 1985, he was traded to the Pirates with minor leaguer Frankie Griffin for Kent Tekulve. He ended his big league career in 1987 after stints with the California Angels and New York Yankees.

In 1989, Holland played for the St. Petersburg Pelicans and St. Lucie Legends of the Senior Professional Baseball Association. The following year, Holland again played for the Pelicans, going 1-0 with a 4.19 ERA in 6 appearances before the league folded.

After his playing days, Holland was pitching coach for the Johnson City Cardinals from 2003 to 2006. In 2007, he held the same role with the Batavia Muckdogs. In 2015, he was inducted into the College Baseball Hall of Fame.

Notable Achievements[edit]

Further Reading[edit]

  • Al Holland (as told to George Vass): "The Game I'll Never Forget", Baseball Digest, September 1985, pp. 43-45. [1]

Related Sites[edit]