Princeton, W.Va.-- Jim Holland, resident of Princeton, WV and native of Dunbar was inducted as a member of the West Virginia Sports Legends Hall of Fame, Class of 2019, during their annual banquet in Beckley, West Virginia on July 6, 2019. Holland is well known in the community as the former, long-time manager of Princeton’s baseball team. Holland’s long-time dedication to baseball administration spans thirty seasons and is highlighted by a successful 24-season career spanning from 1992-2015 as the General Manager of the local Appalachian League baseball team-- for five seasons as an affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds, and for 19 years as an affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays.
Starting as a staff member of the Appalachian League’s Huntington Cubs for two seasons in 1990. Holland states, that while at a ballpark, the agency was short of help and he asked what he could do to help and, “thirty years later, I am still working in baseball.”
After making the transition to Princeton baseball full-time, Holland originated the idea of the nationally known Mercer Cup, a trophy that is still awarded yearly to the winner of the Princeton-Bluefield regular season series.
In 1993 he was honored as the Appalachian League Executive of the Year. Holland is the only repeat winner in Appalachian League history to be awarded the Appalachian League Award of Promotional Excellence in 2002, 2005, 2010, 2011 and 2012. In 2015 Holland was awarded for his long-term service to professional baseball and was presented with the Appalachian league President’s Award.
Princeton and local fans can celebrate his contribution to Appalachian League Baseball and his dedication to the local team. During his years with the Princeton more milestones were reached like the new stadium and over seventy-five players that have advanced on to play Major League Baseball. Holland had planned to retire, but baseball had other plans. A modern facility and exciting new program developed in Beckley, and the opportunity to work with a new team was fielded.
In 2016, Holland began as the Director of Marketing, Sales and Game Day operations for the West Virginia Miners in Beckley, W.Va. The West Virginia Miners is a member of the summer collegiate wooden bat Prospect League.
In his younger days while at Dunbar High School, Holland was a distance runner and in 1975 was the Tri-Valley Athletic Conference champion in cross country and, also won the 1976 TVAC conference title as a two-miler in track. Holland graduated from the University of Charleston in 1980.
Jim resides in Princeton West Virginia with his wife, Judy. Their son Warren is also involved in the “family business” working in Major League Baseball for ten seasons and is currently the Director of Creative Services for the Tampa Bay Rays in St. Petersburg, FL.