Billy Holland, Pitching Phenomenon

Apr 21, 2024 | Articles & Exhibits, Photo

Holding the ball in the center of the picture is the team’s pitcher, Billy Holland, who was about 18 years old at the time. Holland went on to have a storied pitching career with the best black teams in the nation, in an era before professional baseball was integrated, and before the Negro Leagues were organized.

In 1894, at 20 years old, he would make his professional debut for the all-black Union Giants team of Chicago, where he also played in 1897-1899.

From 1895-1897, he pitched for the Page Fence Giants of Adrian, Michigan. In 1895, the team had a record of 118-36-2; in 1897, they were 125-12 with 82 consecutive wins.

Holland played for black teams in Iowa, Minnesota, Chicago, and Brooklyn before finishing his playing career with the Philadelphia Giants in 1908. In the 1920s, Holland was an umpire in the Negro National League.

Learn more about Billy Holland and baseball in Aurora in the mini photographic exhibit in the display case on the first floor of the David L. Pierce Art & History Center. Hours will be posted below while the exhibit is active.


May 2024
June 2024
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