Matthew Thomas Holliday (born January 15, 1980 in Stillwater, Oklahoma), nicknamed "Big Daddy," 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.
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. 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.
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. 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. He also competed for the 1997 USA Junior National Team.
On December 14, 2007, Holliday had his #24 high school jersey retired in a ceremony at Stillwater High School. Businesses in Stillwater were also asked to honor Holliday that day by posting a "Welcome Home Matt Holliday" message on a marquee or window.
Major league careerEdit
Holliday was originally scheduled to spend much of 2004 with Colorado Rockies' Triple-A affiliate Colorado Springs Sky Sox. However, due to injuries to Rockies outfielders Preston Wilson and Larry Walker, he soon became a mainstay in the Rockies lineup. 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. 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. He hit his first career home run against the Los Angeles Dodgers on April 22, 2004.
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. 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. In September, Holliday hit a National League-high 32 RBI, which was also a Rockies record for the month of September. On September 20, he tied a Colorado Rockies record by hitting eight RBI in one game. 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.
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. 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. He finished first on the Colorado Rockies in home runs, extra base hits, runs, total bases and multi-hit games. Holliday also had the luxury of being only one of eleven MLB players during the 2006 season to steal home. 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. Holliday also received his first Silver Slugger Award for his outstanding hitting during the 2006 season.
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). 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. 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. 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. 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.
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. Holliday also participated in the 2007 Home Run Derby, but didn't win. He was named NL Player of the Month for September. 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. 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.
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. In the second game of the series, Colorado shortstop Troy Tulowitzki and Holliday hit back-to-back first-pitch homers in the first inning. 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. 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. The NLCS sweep earned the Rockies their first-ever trip to the World Series.
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. 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. 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. 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 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. Colorado activated him off the disabled list on June 10, 2008.
On July 6, 2008, Holliday was named an All-Star reserve for the third consecutive year. 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. 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.
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 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. His .409 on-base percentage was the second-highest for MLB left fielders.
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.
Holliday and his wife, Leslee, have two sons, Jackson (born December 4, 2003) and Ethan (born February 23, 2007). 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.
- 3-time All-Star (2006–2008)
- 3-time Silver Slugger (2006–2008)
- 2007 National League Championship Series MVP
- National League Player of the Month (September 2007)
- National League Batting Champion (2007)
- National League RBI leader (2007)
- National League Doubles leader (2007)
- National League Hits leader (2007)
- National League Total Bases leader (2007)
- National League Extra Base Hits leader (2007)
- The Sporting News All-Star team (2007)
- Baseball America All-Rookie team (2004)
- Topps All-Star Rookie team (2004)
- List of Major League Baseball batting champions
- List of Major League Baseball RBI champions
- List of Major League Baseball doubles champions
- ↑ Next national Holliday - The Denver Post
- ↑ Rockies banked on steal of 1998 draft - The Denver Post
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 The Official Site of The Colorado Rockies: News: Colorado Rockies News
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 ESPN - Rockies receive many contributions, but Holliday tops - MLB
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 The Official Site of The Colorado Rockies: Team: Player Information : Biography and Career Highlights
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 Stillwater Chamber of Commerce
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 The Official Site of The Colorado Rockies: Team: Player Information : Biography and Career Highlights
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 The Official Site of The Colorado Rockies: Team: Player Information : Biography and Career Highlights
- ↑ 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
- ↑ ESPN - MLB Baseball Batting Statistics and League Leaders - Major League Baseball
- ↑ The Official Site of Major League Baseball: News: Holliday plays like an MVP - as usual
- ↑ ESPN - Rockies rout NL West champion D-backs to stay alive - MLB
- ↑ The Denver Post - Sully comes up big in 10th
- ↑ ESPN - MLB Baseball Fielding Statistics and League Leaders - Major League Baseball
- ↑ 15.0 15.1 15.2 The Official Site of The Colorado Rockies: Team: Player Information : Biography and Career Highlights
- ↑ ESPN - Rollins, who spurred Phils into playoffs, wins MVP - MLB
- ↑ ESPN - Rockies vs. Phillies - Recap - October 03, 2007
- ↑ ESPN - Rockies vs. Phillies - Recap - October 04, 2007
- ↑ ESPN - Phillies vs. Rockies - Recap - October 06, 2007
- ↑ ESPN - Diamondbacks vs. Rockies - Recap - October 15, 2007
- ↑ 21.0 21.1 ESPN - Rockies vs. Red Sox - Recap - October 25, 2007
- ↑ ESPN - Red Sox vs. Rockies - Recap - October 27, 2007
- ↑ The Official Site of Major League Baseball: News: Major League Baseball News
- ↑ Rockies add Holliday to DL - The Denver Post
- ↑ ESPN - Holliday comes off disabled list, Tulowitzki, Barmes improving - MLB
- ↑ Cook, Holliday are All-Stars - The Denver Post
- ↑ Hurdle has winning on his agenda : Rockies : The Rocky Mountain News
- ↑ ESPN - Holliday to replace Soriano in NL All-Star lineup - MLB
- ↑ ESPN - National League All-Stars vs. American League All-Stars - Recap - July 15, 2008
- ↑ http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20081113&content_id=3678086&vkey=news_mlb&fext=.jsp&c_id=mlb
- ↑ MLB Player Batting Stats: 2008 - Stolen Bases - LF
- ↑ MLB Player Batting Stats: 2008 - OBP - LF
- ↑ MLB Player Fielding Stats: 2008 - LF
- ↑ Rockies, A's complete Holliday deal
- ↑ Holliday has a blast in Derby spotlight : Rockies : The Rocky Mountain News
- Career statistics and player information from MLB, or ESPN, or Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or The Baseball Cube
- ArmchairGM Profile Page
- Matt Holliday news
|Topps All-Star Rookie Outfielder|
|National League Player of the Month|
|National League Batting Champion|
|National League RBI Champion|
|National League Championship Series MVP|
|NL Silver Slugger/ Outfield|