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Matt Holliday Inducted into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame

Updated: Feb 7, 2022

Matt Holliday Inducted into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame

Photo Credit: Missouri Sports Hall of Fame

On Sunday night, at the Ozark Empire Fairgrounds in Springfield, MO, the inductees of the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame were honored. Among the inductees was former St. Louis Cardinal slugger Matt Holliday. He enters into the player’s wing of the state’s prestigious Hall of Fame.

Matt Holliday began his Major League Baseball career with the Colorado Rockies, where he spent 5 seasons (before returning for a 6th to end his career) earning 3 All-Star nods, 3 Silver Slugger Awards and was runner up for league MVP in 2007.

For the Rockies, Matt had a career slashline of .319/.387/.550 with 130 HR & 486.

Unable to agree to a contract extension with Colorado after the 2008 season, Holliday was traded to the Oakland Athletics for pitchers Huston Street and Greg Smith, as well as outfielder Carlos Gonzalez. He started working with former A’s & Cardinals first baseman Mark McGwire that off-season, with Big Mac becoming the Cardinals official hitting coach the next season.

Matt Holliday Photo Credit: Doug Bene/Getty Images

On July 24, 2009 with the A’s off to a sluggish start and realizing there was little chance the club could extend him, they traded Holliday to the St. Louis Cardinals for prospects Brett Wallace, Clayton Mortensen, Shane Peterson & $1.5M.

He would be slotted in behind Albert Pujols in the Cardinals lineup and in his debut for St. Louis, got 4 hits and an RBI. In September of that season, Holliday would get hit number 1,000 vs the Milwaukee Brewers.

Matt Holliday Photo Credit: Joe Robbins/Getty Images

The Cardinals went on to win the NL Central that season but were swept by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLDS. In his 63 games with St. Louis during that 2009 season, Holliday slashed .353/.419/.604 with 13 HR and 55 RBI.

With Matt a free agent, the St. Louis Cardinals offered him a contract that at the time was the richest in team history. He signed a 7-year, $120M contract with a full no-trade clause and a $17M club option for 2017 or a $1M buyout.

Matt Holliday Photo Credit: St. Louis Post-Dispatch/Getty Images

In his 8 seasons with the Cardinals, Holliday slashed .293/.380/.494 with 156 HR and 616 RBI. Nearly half of his career numbers came while playing for the Cardinals – (1,048 of his 2,096 hits, 156 of 316 home runs, 616 of 1,220 RBI and 237 of 468 doubles.)

For St. Louis, Matt earned 4 All-Star selections, a Silver Slugger Award and helped the Cardinals to a World Series championship in 2011.

Matt Holliday Photo Credit : Billy Hurst/AP Photo

In one of the more emotional moments that I have personally witnessed as a Cardinals fan, was at the end of the 2016 season when it was apparent that the front office was not going to pick up the option for Holliday to return for 2017. Matt had been battling injuries, and in a pinch hit at-bat knowing it would likely be his last wearing the Birds on a Bat, hit a home run and rounded the bases with tears in his eyes. He was greeted at the dugout steps by teammates Adam Wainwright & Yadier Molina who embraced him with a hug. That will always be one of the biggest highlights for many of Cardinal Nation.

Holliday went on to play the 2017 season with the New York Yankees where he hit .231 with 19 HR & 64 RBI and the following season signed with the Rockies to finish his career where he hit .283 with 2 HR in 25 games.

Matt Holliday Photo Credit : Oklahoma State University

After his playing days, Matt has remained involved with baseball at the collegiate level where he joined his brother Josh’s coaching staff for his alma mater Oklahoma State University as an outfield/hitting coach.

As a player, Matt Holliday provided many memories for Cardinals fans. Be it his consistent power threat in the lineup, his constant humor with Jim “The Cat” Hayes in interviews, to his mentorship to young players.

SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Magazine Cover (2015)

As a man, Holliday’s strong faith in Christ, charity work with his wife Leslie for the community, as well as countless trips to visit sick children at SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital, made him one of most respected people by everyone that knew him.

We congratulate Matt on his induction into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame, and look forward to him one day being honored with a red jacket and becoming a St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Famer.

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