Alfred Willis Holland (born August 16, 1952 in Roanoke, Virginia) is a former Major League Baseball relief pitcher who mostly pitched in the Major Leagues from 1980 to 1986 (as well as a few games in 1977, 1979 and 1987).
Holland finished seventh in the National League Rookie of the Year voting for 1980 but his best season was with the Philadelphia Phillies in 1983 when he won the Rolaids Relief Man of the Year Award and TSN Fireman of the Year Award while finishing in the top ten in voting for both the Cy Young Award and National League MVP. He then saved Game 1 of the 1983 National League Championship Series, and struck out three batters in two innings to finish Game 4, clinching the pennant for the Phillies. He also saved Game 1 of the 1983 World Series. In Game 3 of the World Series, Holland was pitching in the seventh inning when an error allowed the go-ahead run to score. Although Holland struck out four batters in the eighth and ninth innings, he and the Phillies lost in the last postseason game of his career. They then lost Games 4 and 5 as well to give the Baltimore Orioles the championship.
In 1984, Holland was selected to his only All-Star Game but did not play. The following year, he was traded twice and then hit a low point by being called to testify at the Pittsburgh drug trials. After admitting to cocaine abuse, he was suspended for sixty days of the 1986 season.
Holland's and ten other players' suspensions were reduced to anti-drug donations and community service, but Holland's career was nearly at an end. He was signed as a free agent by the New York Yankees, released by the Yankees, re-signed by the Yankees and then re-released by the Yankees — all in 1986. The Yankees signed him for the third time in 1987 but, after three games, his ERA was at 14.21. Holland was released by the Yankees a third time after the season and his major league career was over.
In 1989, the age 35-and-older Senior Professional Baseball Association began operation in Florida and Holland was a member of both the St. Petersburg Pelicans and St. Lucie Legends. The league folded in December 1990. Since then, Holland has spent time as a minor league pitching coach, as recently as 2006 for the Rookie-level Appalachian League's Johnson City Cardinals.
- ^ "Short-season Appalachian League,". USA Today (Feb. 17, 2006).
By Dean Hanley
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