Former China Spring baseball coach James Limmer inducted into THSBCA Hall of Fame

Published: Jan. 17, 2023 at 3:29 PM CST
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Round Rock, Texas (KWTX) - Last week, the Texas High School Baseball Coaches Association inducted former China Spring baseball coach James Limmer into their Hall of Fame. Over Limmer’s 27-year career, it was never really something he ever gave much thought to.

“It never really entered my mind, but then people would say ‘Hey when are you gonna get in the Hall of Fame’”, said Limmer. “And I go,’I’m probably not going to get in the Hall of Fame.’”

Limmer is now a part of an elite group of 86 other THSBCA Hall of Famers. Luke Gilliam, one of Limmer’s former players, said that this was a long time coming.

“It was long overdue,” said Gilliam. “You’re talking about a guy that’s won four state championships. To see him get honored for that tonight is a real tribute.”

That’s right, four state championships, and he was close to winning several more.

Limmer not only laid the foundation for China Spring’s baseball program, he also created a winning tradition that the school still celebrates to this day.

“He really established the baseball program as the premiere entity in the state that people associated with China Spring,” said Gilliam. “So you look at all the other athletic success that’s followed, I think you can draw a straight line back to Coach Limmer.”

At 29 years old, Limmer won the 1987 state championship in his first season at China Spring. Cory Beckham, the current China Spring head baseball coach, won a state championship with Limmer in 1989. He and several other of Limmer’s former players say the coach’s easy-going approach was the secret to his success.

“The practices were fun,” said Beckham. “We relaxed. I mean, we did stuff back then you would never even think of. We took our shirts off at practice, we had some good times, but we competed.”

From 1987 to 1993, Limmer led China Spring to five state tournaments, three championships, and a playoff record of 33 wins and just four losses. Throughout it all, Limmer was as cool as can be.

“One of his greatest attributes as a coach is how calm he is under pressure,” said Beckham. When Coach Limmer was our coach, we had so much confidence in him because he never got too emotional. He was always calm and confident, and really we rallied around him.”

" I was calm,” said Limmer. “When it was time to change my attitude, they knew when I changed my attitude, I meant it.”

Limmer still lives in the Waco area and continues to impact the lives of his former players, coaches, and friends that were with him along the way.

“I think as a young person, you’re very fortunate to have people outside your parents that cross your path and make an indelible impact on you that impacts you long term,” siad Gilliam. “For Coach Limmer, he’ll always be that for me, and I think for a lot of the other guys that had the honor of playing for him.”