Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local Sports

July 20, 2012

Holmberg shares thoughts on baseball

BLUEFIELD — Dennis Holmberg, skipper of the Bluefield Blue Jays shared his thoughts on the sport he loves and on coming to Bluefield with members of the Greater Bluefield Chamber of Commerce board of directors who had their July meeting in the Coppinger Room of Bowen Field.

“My first reaction when I walked through that gate was it was like taking a step back in time,” Holmberg said. “I have been around baseball a long time and I knew about the Appalachian League and its traditions. Coming here was like taking a step back in time.”

He said that he is just 10 wins away from winning 1,300 games in his career as a baseball manager.

“These guys, their days are long and hard,” he said of the athletes who are entering the ranks of professional baseball in the Appalachian League. He said that a big part of that transition is getting to know the fans. “We have a policy where every player needs to do two (public) events a month.”

Holmberg said that the spirit and enthusiasm during the first two games against Princeton has been exciting, but he added that the team needs to put more people in the stands for every game. “Whatever it is, it can always be a little better,” he said.

“Listen, baseball is good for everybody,” he said. “Baseball feeds the soul.”

He said that each year, he puts a Christmas tree in his offic e, and tells his players to go out and buy a Christmas present for young boys and girls who are underprivileged. At the end of the season, the players will give the presents to the children.

“There are two kinds of players,” Holmberg said. “The ones that are humble and the ones who are fixing to be humble.”

– Contact Bill Archer

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