Holt, Norm

Inducted: 2022

Holt, Norm

Ekron, Kentucky

Norman Holt, like many sponsors, is among the unsung heroes that keep our beloved softball going. His behind-the-scenes “dirty work” is sometimes overshadowed by the game itself, but his contributions and true love for softball has been expressed numerous times from past players, coaches, and fans alike.

What is most notable about Norman Holt’s involvement in past teams is that you don’t see the names Norman or Holt on any of his teams jerseys. He was the more silent sponsor that vaulted softball clubs over the hump, so to speak, and in a quick story Cobbie Harrison, Norm’s upper-class mentor, talks about a hump too high for even Norm to climb.

“We were in Cincinnati, and as usual were about to run out of balls,” recalls a grinning Harrison. Norman, who would do whatever it took to help his team, jogged to his truck to retrieve some softballs for Cobbie’s team to just lose again, usually over awaiting outfield fences. On his way back, however, Norman climbed over the outfield fence, and then to the chagrin of his players, they saw that he was stuck on the fence.

Norm was hollering for help, and a few guys came to his rescue to dislodge him from the fence. And, while Norm was screaming, in typical Coach Cobbie fashion, Cobbie re-shouted, “Get those balls in here.” Play resumed, and after stitches to the hand were administered, “Norm was back to Norm,” according to Harrison some two hours later.

Coach Harrison and Norman Holt were quite a duo, and both were good for each other and for the teams they helped support.

Like many in the softball realm, Mr. Holt made his way up the class ladder, and finally landed on the top rung in the mid-2000’s around 2013 with Gutterworks. He won GSL and WSL National titles, and in 2015 won 13 out of the 15 tournaments he entered. However, the national accomplishments, although rewarding, were not what Norm really enjoyed the most. He liked the local stuff, the grassroots tournaments that the local communities usually enjoyed together.

One such favorite was the Southern Burkesville Classic where pickup trucks lined the outside of the fences, and everyone enjoyed the carnival-like atmosphere, cooking out and watching softball ‘til the wee hours of the morning.

Norman’s love of the Southern equated to five championships there, and he wasn’t just a men’s sponsor. He won women’s tournaments, the Co-ed Bluegrass Games five times, two 35&Over titles, and the list goes on and on.

When I mentioned that Holt was never mentioned in his team names that was a tiny fib, but mostly true. On the end of one of his Southern Championship’s team name were the letters—TH--which stood for his loving wife, Trish Holt, who stood by Norman those 40 years of helping others, and they are still together today—on and off the softball fields.