The award is given in honor of the late T. Ashton Phillips, a Charleston businessman, RiverDogs minority owner, and long-time RiverDogs season ticket holder who passed away in May 2006.
For several years, Holt has been the historian of the Cannon Street Y All-Stars, a team that in 1955 was barred from participation in Little League postseason play because all the players were African American. As Holt points out, the team’s experiences are one of the most important civil rights stories to come out of South Carolina. The RiverDogs have helped to promote that story, welcoming Holt and members of the 1955 team to the park every year.
In addition, Holt was the founder and president of the Charleston American Little League (CALL). When his son Lawrence, a player with CALL and at Garrett Academy, passed away several years ago, Holt established a scholarship that is awarded to Garrett graduates every year.
“I appreciate this honor from the RiverDogs,” Holt said after the ceremony. “I love baseball in so many ways. I’ve always been fascinated by the men who played with the so-called Negro Leagues before they were allowed to play in the major leagues. My son wore the number 42 in honor of his hero, and mine, Jackie Robinson. I’ve helped hundreds of young boys and girls learn the game and I can often be found in the stands at The Joe. The story of baseball is the story of America, for better or worse.”