From Staff Reports
PRESS RELEASE: Meet Bulldog Hall of Fame Inductees Pops Penney, Brock Holt, Chris Davis, and Johnny and Faye Sirman.
Derwood ‘Pops’ Penney
Derwood Penney, known as ‘Pops,’ was a volunteer assistant coach 16 years for Navarro Baseball. He loved all players as if they were his own. He taught them not only about baseball, but becoming young men. Pops had a strong Christian faith and loved to share his faith with everyone. Pops was a middle infielder for Corsicana High and Navarro (1958-1961). He played second base for coach Jesse Cummings’ 1958 state-finalist Corsicana Tigers as a junior. Penney later followed Cummings as a Navarro baseball volunteer assistant. Before his retirement, Pops was a farm parts department manager for more than 45 years with J.A. Penney Implement and also Vitters Tractor in Corsicana.
Brock Holt is completing his 10th season of major league baseball. The NJCAA All-Star and two-time, first-team All Texas Eastern Athletic Conference shortstop for the Bulldogs in 2007 and 2008 also played at Rice University with coach Wayne Graham’s 43-18 Owls. A ninthround draft pick by Pittsburgh Pirates in 2009, Holt was traded to Boston, where he spent seven seasons with the Red Sox. The four-time Roberto Clemente Award nominee was chairman five years of The Jimmy Fund to benefit The Dana-Farber Cancer Institute of Boston. Holt finished eighth in balloting for the 2014 AL Rookie of The Year and was selected as Boston’s only AL All-Star representative in 2015. On Oct. 2018, he became the first player to hit a post-season cycle as the Red Sox beat the Yankees, 16-1, in the American League Division Series. Holt currently plays for the Texas Rangers.
Longview native Chris Davis left Navarro baseball as its career home run leader and signed as a fifth-round draft choice of the Texas Rangers in 2006. Davis, nicknamed ‘Crush,’ led MLB in home runs (53) and RBI (138) in 2013, when he was named to the AL All-Star Team, won a Silver Slugger, and finished third in the MVP Voting. He also led the majors in home runs (47) in 2015, when he finished No. 14 in the AL MVP Voting. Davis is a three-time nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award (2017, 2018, 2019). He retired from the Baltimore Orioles and MLB in 2021.
Johnny and Faye Sirman
Johnny and Faye Sirman were devotees to Navarro College athletics, dating back to the 1970s. Honored multiple times as “Bulldog Backers of the Year,” the Sirmans attended all Navarro football and basketball games. After her husband, Johnny, the owner of Sirman Auto in Corsicana, passed in 2000, Faye continued to attend home and road basketball games regularly until her passing in 2017 at age 93. The most avid of fans, she made trips to Hutchinson, KS., for Navarro’s three NJCAA Tournament appearances there. Faye, a former bookkeeper at State National and Corsicana National Banks, generally was the first fan through the doors at Wolen’s SEC and occupied the same top-row seat as she and Johnny had done for years at old Bulldog Gym. She and Johnny loved their Bulldogs!
Inductees will be honored at an induction ceremony on Saturday, Sept. 18 at 12 p.m. at the Cook Education Center. Tickets for the event are $15 per seat and may be purchased at athletics.navarrocollege.edu under the Inside Athletics tab, or you may contact Michael Landers at Michael.firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve space.
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