Matt Holliday

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Matthew Thomas Holliday

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Biographical Information[edit]

Matt Holliday, after playing five years with the Colorado Rockies, joined the Oakland Athletics for the 2009 season and was traded that July to the St. Louis Cardinals. Holliday has a lifetime major league batting average well over .300 and has been one of the most consistent run producers in the major leagues since the mid-2000s.

In the 1997 World Junior Championship, Holliday manned the outfield for the Bronze Medal-winning USA. He hit .387 overall for the summer with 8 stolen bases, second on the team.

Holliday played in the minors from 1998-2003, hitting over .300 only in the Rookie League in 1998. In 2004 he came to AAA ball for the first time, playing six games for Tulsa, and spending the rest of the season as a major league rookie with the Rockies, finishing fifth in the 2004 National League Rookie of the Year Award voting. He then became a big hitting star for the Rockies, culminating in 2007 when he won the National League batting title and was the offensive leader of a team that rode a tremendous late-season hot streak to the World Series. He finished second in the 2007 National League MVP Award voting that year.

After another productive season for the Rockies in 2008, he was sent to the Athletics in a big trade that netted Colorado another future outfield great in Carlos Gonzalez. The Rockies knew that Holliday was about to become very expensive, and wanted to obtain some young players in return. He had trouble moving from the hitter-friendliest park in the majors to one of the toughest, and his production dipped significantly over the first half of the 2009 season. More importantly, the A's, who had had visions of competing for the AL West title that year with Holliday's hitting complementing an existing strong pitching staff, fell out of the race early and decided to trade Holliday for another haul of prospects. Matt ended up in St. Louis, where his hitting returned to his Colorado level, and where he formed an excellent duo with Albert Pujols in the middle of the line-up. In Game 2 of the NLDS that year, he dropped a fly ball hit by James Loney with two outs and no one on base in the 9th inning that led to the Los Angeles Dodgers winning the game on their way to a series sweep.

Playing for the Cardinals in 2011, Holliday was able to maintain an All-Star level of production in spite of a series of injuries. He underwent an emergency appendectomy in April, missed time due to a strained quadriceps in June, suffered a lower-back injury while preparing to lift weights, and on August 22nd had to be taken out of a game in the 9th inning when a moth became stuck in his ear.

In 2015, he set a National League record by reaching base in each of his first 43 games, breaking a record held by former teammate Pujols. It was still 10 games shy of the all-time record set by Derek Jeter in 1999. The streak ended after 45 games with an 0 for 3 night on June 2nd. On June 8th, he sustained an injury trying to catch a fly ball in the 2nd inning of a game against the Colorado Rockies and was placed on the disabled list the next day with a quadriceps strain. He was hitting .303 with 3 homers, 20 runs and 26 RBIs in 52 games. The injury caused him to miss the 2015 All-Star Game, to which he had been elected as a starter and kept him out until July 17th. However, only two weeks after his return, he re-injured the muscle while running to first base on July 29th and returned to the disabled list. he did not return until September 17th and finished the season with a .279 average, 4 homers and 35 RBIs, the last two numbers the lowest of his major league career. In the Division Series, he went 2 for 16 (.125) as the Cardinals were upset by the Chicago Cubs.

Matt was back healthy in 2016, but he was not setting the world on fire. On August 11th, he was hitting .241, although he did have 19 homers and 60 RBIs. That day, he was hit by a pitch from Mike Montgomery in a game against the Cubs, breaking his right thumb and placing him on the disabled list. The Cards had fallen 13 games behind the first-place Cubs at that point, and were in a tough race for a wild card spot, so his expected prolonged absence was a big blow to the team. He came back on September 30th and played the team's last three games, going 2-for-2 with a homer, as the Cards fell just shy of landing a wild card spot. Altogether, he hit .246 with 20 homers and 62 RBIs in 110 games. He became a free agent after the season and on December 4th signed a one-year deal with the New York Yankees for $13 million.

The only other major leaguer through 2009 with the last name Holliday is Bug Holliday, who played in the 19th Century.

Holliday's father, Tom Holliday, took Oklahoma State University to the College World Series as head coach in 1999, and is currently an assistant coach at North Carolina State University. His brother Josh is an assistant at Georgia Tech.

Notable Achievements[edit]

  • 2004 Topps All-Star Rookie Team
  • 6-time NL All-Star (2006-2008, 2010, 2011 & 2015)
  • 4-time NL Silver Slugger Award Winner (2006-2008 & 2010)
  • 2007 NLCS MVP
  • NL Batting Average Leader (2007)
  • NL Hits Leader (2007)
  • NL Total Bases Leader (2007)
  • NL Doubles Leader (2007)
  • NL RBI Leader (2007)
  • 20-Home Run Seasons: 10 (2006-2014 & 2016)
  • 30-Home Run Seasons: 2 (2006 & 2007)
  • 100 RBI Seasons: 5 (2006, 2007, 2009,& 2010 & 2012)
  • 100 Runs Scored Seasons: 4 (2006-2008 & 2013)
  • 200 Hits Seasons: 1 (2007)
  • Won a World Series with the St. Louis Cardinals in 2011

Further Reading[edit]

  • Lindsay Berra: "For new Yankee Holliday, no time for time off: Veteran training for haul of long season with Yankees",, January 23, 2017. [1]

Related Sites[edit]