Former All-Southern Conference relief pitcher - and current Kansas City Royals' closer - Greg Holland will be the keynote speaker at the
Dec. 3, 2013
Cullowhee, N.C. - Western Carolina Athletics and head baseball coach Bobby Moranda today announced the date of the 2014 "Celebration of Catamount Baseball Fundraiser Banquet." The fourth installment of the fundraising event will be held on Saturday, Jan. 18 in the Grandroom of the on-campus University Center.
Check-in for the special event will begin at 6:30 pm with the program slated to start at 7:00 pm.
Headlining the 2014 Catamount baseball banquet is keynote speaker, former WCU relief pitcher - and current Kansas City Royals closer - Greg Holland. Last season, Holland became the first former Catamount baseball player to ever be named a Major League Baseball All-Star.
"We are honored to have former Catamount great and current MLB All Star, Greg Holland, back on campus for our baseball banquet," said Moranda, who is entering his seventh season at WCU. "His story of tremendous perseverance and achievement are unprecedented. To go from a WCU walk-on to a Major League All Star is an inspiration to all."
Moranda added, "We need all Catamount baseball alumni, Greg's WCU teammates and all of Western North Carolina here on campus January 18 to help honor Greg Holland's remarkable accomplishments."
A product of Marion, N.C., Holland recorded 19 saves for Western Carolina from 2005-07, currently ranking fifth in program history. He posted 10 career victories in his 82 career appearances with a 4.22 career ERA through 149.1 innings pitched. Holland recorded 154 career strikeouts against 70 walks.
In 2007, Holland posted a career-best 10 saves while earning first team All-Southern Conference accolades as the Catamounts claimed a share of the regular season title. He was also named to the SoCon's Spring Academic All-Conference team twice in both 2006 and '07.
Holland was drafted by Kansas City in the 10th round of the 2007 MLB First-Year Player Draft on the heels of WCU's runner-up finish in the NCAA Baseball Chapel Hill Regional. He went on to make his Major League debut on August 2, 2010 against the Oakland Athletics.
Last season, Holland was named Kansas City's "2013 Bruce Rice Pitcher of the Year" for a second-consecutive season as he set a Royals franchise record with 47 saves. Only two other MLB relievers had more saves than did Holland in 2013 - Baltimore's Jim Johnson and Craig Kimbrel with the Atlanta Braves, both with 50. Holland also matched the Royals' single-season record for strikeouts by a reliever, fanning an American League reliever-best 103 including closing the season with a K, matching the club record set in 1971 by Jim York.
In addition to honoring Holland, this year's "Celebration of Catamount Baseball Fundraiser Banquet" will also include a reflection and recap of the 2013 Southern Conference regular season championship run; an introduction of the 2014 Catamount baseball team; and introduction of the 2014 Leggett No. 7 Legacy recipient.
The first-ever "Celebration of Catamount Baseball" banquet was on Feb. 9, 2008 in Asheville. Former Catamount head coaches Jack Leggett and Bill Haywood were honored that evening, including special introductions by former players and Hall of Fame members Wayne Tolleson and Phillip Grundy. In the second event, Leggett was the keynote speaker with WCU and Moranda creating the "Leggett No. 7 Legacy" to honor one player each season.
While installing the gathering, Moranda was quoted as saying, "It is my humble obligation and duty to honor those great players and teams that have come before our current personnel. My dream is to realize the long lasting program goal of traveling the 1,002 miles to compete in Omaha, home of the College World Series. But we need your financial support to reach that dream."
The cost to attend this year's "Celebration of Catamount Baseball" is $100 per person, or a table of eight for $700. RSVP's are requested by Monday, January 13. All funds raised through this event will directly support the operation of the WCU baseball program.
Moranda added, "Your support is greatly appreciated as we work to win back-to-back Southern Conference titles."
To reserve your spot at the 2014 "Celebration of Catamount Baseball Fundraiser Banquet," please contact Assistant Coach Bruce Johnson in the WCU Baseball office by E-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (828) 227-2022 or (252) 241-9829.