Former Dos Palos star Holmes dead at 52

March 2, 2011 

DOS PALOS -- Dave Henderson remembers playing in a high school all-star baseball game.

It was one of the few times the former Dos Palos star saw his name ahead of teammate Stan Holmes in the batting order.

"I think I hit three home runs in that game with Stan hitting after me," Henderson said. "After every home run I hit, the pitcher knocked Stanley down.

"He told me he didn't want to bat after me again."

It's Holmes' sense of humor and happy-go-lucky personality that friends and family will miss most.

Holmes died Monday night from complications because of liver and kidney failure. He was 52 years old and is survived by his wife, Karen.

"Everyone liked Stanley," said former Dos Palos football coach Tom Scheidt. "He had that smile that can light up a room. He was a fun guy to be around."

Holmes was a football and baseball star at Dos Palos.

The Broncos football teams went 23-1 during Holmes' two varsity years, winning Valley Championships in 1975 and 1976.

"He was such a nice guy," said Mike Sparks, who was an assistant under Scheidt in 1976. "He's the kind of guy that would run you over and then say, 'Sorry about that.' "

The losses were almost as rare on the baseball diamond.

"I think the game I remember most was a game at Washington Union," Scheidt said. "David hit two grand slams that game, and Stanley hit a home run over the left-field fence that knocked the chrome off a car.

"All you saw was the ball go over the fence and chrome come off the hood of the car."

Holmes graduated from Dos Palos High in 1977 and went on to play baseball at Arizona State.

He hit .345 with 36 home runs and 171 RBIs from 1979-81 at ASU and was named the Most Outstanding Player at the College World Series in 1981 after leading the Sun Devils to the National Championship.

"We've had major league baseball players, football players, basketball players come out of ASU, no one was ever more popular than Stan," said Ricky Nelson, who was Holmes' roommate at ASU. "If you met him, you never forgot him."

Holmes was part of a three-headed monster during his Dos Palos playing days with Henderson and pitcher Jack Dubois.

"We were the three amigos," said Henderson, who was drafted by the Seattle Mariners and later won a World Series championship with the Oakland Athletics. "Stan was by far the best player on that team.

"When you're from a small town, you don't really know how good you are. I was struggling in the minors for the Mariners while Stan was at ASU going after records set by Reggie Jackson and later Barry Bonds.

"That's when we found out how good he really was."

Holmes was eventually drafted by the Minnesota Twins out of ASU and played in the minor leagues for eight years with the Twins and Angels.

"It's a sad thing at such a young age," Henderson said. "By the hundreds of e-mails I've received last night and this morning about Stan, you can tell how important he was to our town and community."

No funeral arrangements have been made yet.

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