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Matt Holliday

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Matthew Thomas Holliday (born January 15, 1980 in Stillwater, Oklahoma), nicknamed "Big Daddy,"[1] is a left fielder for the Oakland Athletics of Major League Baseball. Holliday was originally drafted by the Colorado Rockies in the seventh round of the 1998 Major League Baseball Draft.[2]

Holliday is a 3-time All-Star and 3-time Silver Slugger. He was the runner-up in the National League MVP voting for the 2007 Major League Baseball season.[3] He did, however, win the 2007 National League Championship Series MVP, as he helped guide the Rockies to their first-ever National League pennant and World Series appearance.[4]

Early careerEdit

Holliday was recruited out of Stillwater High School in Oklahoma to play quarterback at Oklahoma State, but he chose to sign with the Colorado Rockies and was signed by scout Pat Daugherty.[5] As a senior, Holliday earned All-American honors in football and baseball and also earned his region's Gatorade Player of the Year award in both sports.[5] He also competed for the 1997 USA Junior National Team.[5]

On December 14, 2007, Holliday had his #24 high school jersey retired in a ceremony at Stillwater High School.[6] Businesses in Stillwater were also asked to honor Holliday that day by posting a "Welcome Home Matt Holliday" message on a marquee or window.[6]

Major league careerEdit

Colorado RockiesEdit


Holliday was originally scheduled to spend much of 2004 with Colorado Rockies' Triple-A affiliate Colorado Springs Sky Sox.[7] However, due to injuries to Rockies outfielders Preston Wilson and Larry Walker, he soon became a mainstay in the Rockies lineup.[7] Holliday made his major league debut on April 16, 2004, in an away game against the St. Louis Cardinals. He had three at-bats, but didn't record a hit.[1] Holliday played a total of 121 games during his rookie season and finished with a .290 batting average, 14 home runs, 31 doubles and 57 RBI.[7] He hit his first career home run against the Los Angeles Dodgers on April 22, 2004.[7]

Holliday was named to Baseball America's All-Rookie team and Topps All-Star Rookie team for the 2004 season. He finished fifth in the voting for the 2004 National League Rookie of the Year.[7]


Holliday played in 125 games during the 2005 season and improved in nearly all of his offensive categories from the previous season. He hit .307 with 147 hits, 19 home runs, 87 RBI, 68 runs, 14 stolen bases and 242 total bases.[8] He also had a better slugging percentage (.505) and on base percentage (.361). After the All-Star break, Holliday hit 14 home runs, which were the most on the Colorado Rockies during the second half of the season. He also drove in 64 runs after the All-Star break, second in the National League to Chase Utley (65).

Holliday spent time on the disabled list from June 9 to July 18, due to a fractured right pinky finger.[8] In September, Holliday hit a National League-high 32 RBI, which was also a Rockies record for the month of September.[8] On September 20, he tied a Colorado Rockies record by hitting eight RBI in one game.[8] He also hit two home runs in that game, which turned out to be a 20-1 blowout against the San Diego Padres. Holliday's eight RBI was the second-highest single-game total in the 2005 Major League Baseball season, second only to the 10 RBI by New York Yankees' third baseman Alex Rodriguez on April 26 against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.[8]


Holliday played in 155 games during the 2006 season. He hit .326 with 196 hits, 34 home runs, 114 RBI, 119 runs, 10 stolen bases and 353 total bases.[9] His slugging percentage was .586 while his on base percentage was .387. Holliday finished in the top five of the National League in batting average, hits, runs, extra base hits, total bases and slugging percentage.[9] He finished first on the Colorado Rockies in home runs, extra base hits, runs, total bases and multi-hit games.[9] Holliday also had the luxury of being only one of eleven MLB players during the 2006 season to steal home.[9] He stole home as part of a double steal in an August 9, game against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Holliday was voted in by players and coaches as a reserve in the 2006 Major League Baseball All-Star Game, which was his first career All-Star selection.[9] Holliday also received his first Silver Slugger Award for his outstanding hitting during the 2006 season.[9]


Holliday's 2007 season was the best of his career, thus far. He played in 158 games and had career highs in batting average (.340; leading the NL), hits (216; leading the NL), runs (120; 3rd in the NL, behind Jimmy Rollins and Hanley Ramirez), doubles (50; leading the NL), home runs (36), RBI (137; leading the NL), walks (63), slugging percentage (.607; 3rd in the NL, behind Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder), OPS (1.012; 3rd in the NL, behind Chipper Jones and Fielder), extra base hits (92; leading the NL) and total bases (386; leading the NL).[10] Holliday finished in at least the top six of the National League in each of those categories except walks. He batted .376 with a .722 slugging percentage and 25 home runs at mile-high Coors Field, and hit .301 with a .485 slugging percentage and 11 home runs in away games. He became only the fifth National League player in the last 59 years to lead the NL in both batting average and RBI.[11] He also became only the 13th major league player in the last 45 years to finish a season with at least 200 hits and 50 doubles.[12] Furthermore, there was a stretch during the season in which Holliday reached base safely in 36 consecutive games. That broke a Rockies record held by Todd Helton and Larry Walker, as each of them had a streak of 35 consecutive games.[13] Along with his impressive offensive numbers, Holliday established himself as a legitimate defender, as he had the second highest fielding percentage out of all MLB left fielders (.990). He committed only three errors, on an MLB-high 306 total chances for left fielders.[14]

Holliday's accomplishments during the season led to a second All-Star appearance, as he was once again voted in by players and coaches of the National League. He received the most votes (725) from them than any other player in MLB.[15] Holliday also participated in the 2007 Home Run Derby, but didn't win.[15] He was named NL Player of the Month for September.[15] His season garnered strong MVP talk, as he, Philadelphia Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins and Milwaukee Brewers first baseman Prince Fielder were considered the prime National League MVP candidates following the conclusion of the 2007 regular season. Holliday ended up coming in second in the vote, with 336 points, compared to 363 points for Rollins.[3] It was the closest voting for NL MVP since Atlanta Braves third baseman Terry Pendleton beat out Pittsburgh Pirates left fielder Barry Bonds by 15 points in 1991.[16]

Holliday made the playoffs for the first time in his career during the 2007 season. The Rockies entered the playoffs as a wild card team. In the first game of the National League Division Series against the Phillies in Philadelphia, Holliday hit a solo homer to left-center in the eighth inning to give the Rockies a 4–2 lead, which proved to be the final score.[17] In the second game of the series, Colorado shortstop Troy Tulowitzki and Holliday hit back-to-back first-pitch homers in the first inning.[18] Holliday also singled in Colorado second baseman Kazuo Matsui in the sixth inning to bring the score to 10–3, on the way to a 10–5 win. The Rockies won game three in Denver, 2–1, to complete a three-game sweep of the Phillies.[19] Colorado then advanced to the National League Championship Series to face the Arizona Diamondbacks. Colorado swept Arizona in four games, and Holliday was named the 2007 National League Championship Series MVP, as he hit .333 with two home runs and four RBI during the series.[4] The NLCS sweep earned the Rockies their first-ever trip to the World Series.[20]

Despite the struggles of the Colorado Rockies in the first two games of the 2007 World Series, Holliday remained strong offensively, collecting 4 hits in game two alone.[21] However, he also committed a crucial blunder that was arguably the biggest play of that game. After his fourth hit, in the eighth inning off of Boston Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon, Holliday was immediately picked off first base by Papelbon for the third out, leaving Helton at the plate with Colorado trailing 2-1.[21] The Red Sox were able to hold on by that same score for the victory. During game three, Holliday came through in the clutch in the bottom of the seventh inning with a three-run home run.[22] Rather aptly, the home run came just as FOX Sports commentators Joe Buck and Tim McCarver were describing Holliday as a possible MVP candidate during the regular season.


On January 18, 2008, Holliday signed a two-year, $23 million contract with the Rockies, covering his final two years of arbitration.[23]

On May 25, 2008, the Rockies placed Holliday on the 15-day disabled list, due to a strained left hamstring that he suffered in a 9–2 home loss against the New York Mets the previous day.[24] Colorado activated him off the disabled list on June 10, 2008.[25]

On July 6, 2008, Holliday was named an All-Star reserve for the third consecutive year.[26][27] However, due to an injury to Chicago Cubs outfielder Alfonso Soriano, who was voted in by fans as a starter, Holliday replaced Soriano as one of the starters in the outfield.[28] During the All-Star Game, he played in right field and hit a solo home run in the top of the fifth inning, which was the first run of the game.[29]

Holliday played in fewer games (139) in 2008 than in his previous two seasons (partly due to spending time on the disabled list). Consequently, his numbers also dropped off, as he finished the season batting .321 with 173 hits, 25 home runs, 88 RBI, 107 runs, and 290 total bases. He did, however, end up winning his third consecutive Silver Slugger Award[30] and had career highs in stolen bases (28) and on-base percentage (.409). His 28 stolen bases were the third-most among all MLB left fielders.[31] His .409 on-base percentage was the second-highest for MLB left fielders.[32]

Defensively, Holliday was first in zone rating (.900), fourth in fielding percentage (.991), fifth in total chances (252) and fifth in putouts (240) among all MLB left fielders. His total chances and putouts came in about 1,000 fewer innings than those players ahead of him.[33]

Oakland AthleticsEdit

On November 12, 2008, Holliday was traded to the Oakland Athletics for pitchers Huston Street and Greg Smith, and outfielder Carlos González.[34]


Regular seasonEdit

2004 24 COL NL 121 40065 116 31 3 14 57195 31 0 86 1 1 6 9 3 3 .290 .349 .488 .837
2005 25 COL NL 125 479 68 147 24 7 19 87242 36 1 79 0 4 7 11 14 3 .307 .361 .505 .866
2006 26 COL NL 155 602 119196 45 5 34114353 47 3 110 0 3 15 2210 5 .326 .387 .586 .973
2007 27 COL NL 158 636 12021650 6 36137386 63 7 126 0 410 23 11 4.340 .405 .6071.012
2008 28 COL NL 139 539107 173 38 2 25 88290 74 6 104 0 2 8 928 2 .321 .409 .538 .947
Totals: 698 2,656 479 848 188 23 128 4831,466 25117 505 1 14 46 74 6617 .319 .386 .552 .938
Template:SmallTemplate:SmallTemplate:Small Template:SmallTemplate:Small


2007 COL 11 45 6 13 0 0 5 10 1 12 0 0 .289 .319 .622 28 0 0 1 0 1
Totals: 11 45 6 13 0 0 5 10 1 12 0 0 .289 .319 .622 28 0 0 1 0 1


Holliday and his wife, Leslee, have two sons, Jackson (born December 4, 2003) and Ethan (born February 23, 2007).[5] He is the son of former Oklahoma State University (and current North Carolina State associate head coach) Tom Holliday and the nephew of Rockies scout Dave Holliday. Holliday has a brother, Josh, who is currently an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator for the Arizona State University baseball team after leaving his position as an assistant coach at Georgia Tech. Holliday's brother also pitched to him during the 2007 Home Run Derby at AT&T Park in San Francisco.[35]


See alsoEdit


  1. Next national Holliday - The Denver Post
  2. Rockies banked on steal of 1998 draft - The Denver Post
  3. 3.0 3.1 The Official Site of The Colorado Rockies: News: Colorado Rockies News
  4. 4.0 4.1 ESPN - Rockies receive many contributions, but Holliday tops - MLB
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 The Official Site of The Colorado Rockies: Team: Player Information : Biography and Career Highlights
  6. 6.0 6.1 Stillwater Chamber of Commerce
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 The Official Site of The Colorado Rockies: Team: Player Information : Biography and Career Highlights
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 The Official Site of The Colorado Rockies: Team: Player Information : Biography and Career Highlights
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 9.5 The Official Site of The Colorado Rockies: Team: Player Information : Biography and Career Highlights
  10. ESPN - MLB Baseball Batting Statistics and League Leaders - Major League Baseball
  11. The Official Site of Major League Baseball: News: Holliday plays like an MVP - as usual
  12. ESPN - Rockies rout NL West champion D-backs to stay alive - MLB
  13. The Denver Post - Sully comes up big in 10th
  14. ESPN - MLB Baseball Fielding Statistics and League Leaders - Major League Baseball
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 The Official Site of The Colorado Rockies: Team: Player Information : Biography and Career Highlights
  16. ESPN - Rollins, who spurred Phils into playoffs, wins MVP - MLB
  17. ESPN - Rockies vs. Phillies - Recap - October 03, 2007
  18. ESPN - Rockies vs. Phillies - Recap - October 04, 2007
  19. ESPN - Phillies vs. Rockies - Recap - October 06, 2007
  20. ESPN - Diamondbacks vs. Rockies - Recap - October 15, 2007
  21. 21.0 21.1 ESPN - Rockies vs. Red Sox - Recap - October 25, 2007
  22. ESPN - Red Sox vs. Rockies - Recap - October 27, 2007
  23. The Official Site of Major League Baseball: News: Major League Baseball News
  24. Rockies add Holliday to DL - The Denver Post
  25. ESPN - Holliday comes off disabled list, Tulowitzki, Barmes improving - MLB
  26. Cook, Holliday are All-Stars - The Denver Post
  27. Hurdle has winning on his agenda : Rockies : The Rocky Mountain News
  28. ESPN - Holliday to replace Soriano in NL All-Star lineup - MLB
  29. ESPN - National League All-Stars vs. American League All-Stars - Recap - July 15, 2008
  31. MLB Player Batting Stats: 2008 - Stolen Bases - LF
  32. MLB Player Batting Stats: 2008 - OBP - LF
  33. MLB Player Fielding Stats: 2008 - LF
  34. Rockies, A's complete Holliday deal
  35. Holliday has a blast in Derby spotlight : Rockies : The Rocky Mountain News

External linksEdit

Preceded by:
Rocco Baldelli
Jody Gerut
Scott Podsednik
Topps All-Star Rookie Outfielder
Succeeded by:
Jeff Francoeur
Jonny Gomes
Willy Taveras
Preceded by:
Mark Teixeira
National League Player of the Month
September, 2007
Succeeded by:
Chase Utley
Preceded by:
Freddy Sanchez
National League Batting Champion
Succeeded by:
Chipper Jones
Preceded by:
Ryan Howard
National League RBI Champion
Succeeded by:
Ryan Howard
Preceded by:
Jeff Suppan
National League Championship Series MVP
Succeeded by:
Cole Hamels
Preceded by:
Carlos Beltrán
Matt Holliday
Alfonso Soriano
NL Silver Slugger/ Outfield
Succeeded by:
Ryan Braun
Matt Holliday
Ryan Ludwick

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