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Alamance connections abound to Wake Forest’s baseball journey

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As attention focuses on Wake Forest’s run for the College World Series, significant Alamance names (from the past and present) are prominent

By Bob Sutton

Special to The Alamance News

More than two decades ago, Tal Jobe left his Alamance County coaching roots and found another passion.

It was Wake Forest baseball.

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He has been a part of that Demon Deacons program in one capacity or another since 2001. This week, it’s taking him all the way to Omaha, Nebraska.

“I would not miss it,” Jobe said of Wake Forest’s spot in the College World Series for the first time since 1955.

Tal Jobe

Jobe, who was a former football coach at Graham and state-championship boys’ basketball coach at Eastern Alamance, generally downplays his impact with the Demon Deacons. But around that baseball program, he has been a beloved figure.

“They treat me very, very well,” he said. “They can’t run me off.”

Jobe returned to Wake Forest, his alma mater, and took a role in the athletics department as operations assistant. He helped in various duties, filling in for game-day operations. He became largely associated with baseball, though he said he mostly began as former coach George Greer’s gofer.

He used to run the electric scoreboard from the press box on game days in between working on the grounds crew (before the field was artificial turf). He also was the team’s clubhouse manager.

More recently, Jobe has helped with set-ups for games. He said he cleans the bases and might assist in the clubhouse. During games, he mans the manual outfield scoreboard at Couch Ballpark (formerly Ernie Shore Field).

“I get to see the game from that perspective,” he said. “I’m out of the sun. I’ve got a fan out there, or a heater in February.”

The past two weekends as Wake Forest dominated the regional and super regionals, Jobe, 78, said he enjoyed connecting with many former players who returned to Winston-Salem.
“That was so much fun,” he said. “When they come, I’m the one to show them around and keep them busy.”

Jobe, a multi-sport athlete at Mebane High School before becoming a member of Eastern Alamance’s first graduating class in 1963, was inducted into the Mebane Sports Hall of Fame in 2004. He coached the Eagles to the 1990-91 Class 3-A state championship in boys’ basketball as part of a 31-year coaching career that included time as Graham’s football coach from 1978-82.

This winter, Jobe, who lives in Summerfield, narrated a season-opening video that was produced in advance of the Wake Forest baseball season.

He’ll be in the stands in the Wake Forest family section during games in Omaha. He hopes to witness additions to the season’s memorable moments, beginning with the Demon Deacons’ game Saturday afternoon vs. Stanford.

“It has been really special,” Jobe said. “I go to the football and basketball games. That was something when football got going with (coach Jim Grobe). This is right up there with that.”

From the 1955 team
There’s another Alamance County connection to Wake Forest’s baseball program. When the Demon Deacons won their only national championship in 1955, Linwood Holt was the catcher.

Linwood Holt

Holt had played for Alexander Wilson High School, spending four seasons on the varsity for that team in southern Alamance County.

Upon Holt’s induction to the Wake Forest Sports Hall of Fame, he was acknowledged as the catalyst behind the 1955 champions. He had an Atlantic Coast Conference-leading .352 batting average that season. Holt drove in the winning run in the title-clinching victory against Western Michigan.

Now 89, Holt lives in Clarksville, Virginia. He has some distant relatives living in Alamance County.

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