St. Louis Cardinals: Catching up with Matt Holliday
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - Longtime St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Matt Holliday paid a visit to Springfield on Tuesday as an assistant coach for the Oklahoma State’s baseball team.
The Missouri State Bears hosted the Oklahoma State Cowboys at Hammons Field, dropping Tuesday afternoon’s contest 7-0.
Holliday, a seven-time All Star and 2011 World Series champion, played for four MLB teams over 14 seasons. He finished major league career with more than 2,000 hits and 300 home runs.
In a one-on-one interview with KY3, Holliday shares more on his coaching role with Oklahoma State, reflects on the 10-year anniversary of the St. Louis Cardinals’ last World Series championship and explains his friendship with new Cardinals’ third baseman Nolan Arenado.
Holliday on his current role with Oklahoma State baseball and coaching along with his brother Josh:
“I’m coaching the hitters, so I like to throw batting practice. I coach the hitting and the outfield, and I’m enjoying it. I like these young guys, and they’re fun to be around. We have a good team with talented, young kids. I’m trying to help reach their dreams.”
“Playing as long as I did, you don’t get a chance to be around family for as much as I’d like. To get a chance to coach and be around him every day has been really enjoyable. I’m excited to be around him and his family and spend time. We’ve enjoyed it.”
Holliday on the ten-year anniversary of the St. Louis Cardinals’ 2011 World Series team:
“We knew all along we had the talent. We struggled a little bit, I think we were quite a bit behind. Then we got really hot at the end. We just had a really great group of guys. We got along great, we had all of the pieces, but we just had a hard time putting it together early that season. I think about July or August, it really started to come together. We realized we had a really good chance. Once you get to playoffs and you had the kind of horses we had, anything could happen. We found a way, and won the World Series.
“It was a great team. Obviously, some really good players on that team. But I think the thing that I remember the most was probably just the chemistry and the group of guys got along so well. Had a lot of fun together. Guys that you’ll be friends with for your life. A really fun team, a great group of guys. It’s why you play the game. To get a chance to win a championship.”
“It’s hard to believe it’s already been 10 years. I still keep in touch with almost all of those guys on that team. It’s a brotherhood and a bond that will never be broken. I think the Cardinals have some plan this summer for a 10-year anniversary, so I’ll be excited to catch up with some of the guys and celebrate that.”
Holliday on the Cardinals’ blockbuster trade to acquire Arenado and his longtime friendship with him:
“Nolan and I have known each other for a long time. I got a chance to play with him in ’18. We talk a lot. He’s a great guy. He’s excited to be there, enjoying the time with his new teammates and enjoying the coaches and trying to get to know everybody. He’s pumped and excited to be there, excited for the season to get going.”
“The Cardinals are getting a tremendous competitor. He’s probably the best defender at any position I’ve ever seen and played with. A guy that hits 30-40 home runs every year and has led the league in RBIs two times. As far as a complete player goes, getting an All-Star MVP caliber player and getting a guy that plays hard, I think Cardinal fans will really enjoy watching him compete.”
“He’s very durable, leads by example, is a perfect ‘Cardinal Way’ kind of player, and I think he fits in really good with the group and the culture they have there.”
Holliday on the significance of 2021 NCAA and MLB campaigns after previous season shortened by pandemic:
“I think it’s exciting, especially for the kids. These young guys, they deserve the opportunity to go out and have a normal season. Hopefully we continue to get more and more fans in the ballparks, more support and safely have big crowds. Hopefully that continues to grow with the vaccines.”
“We’re excited about playing baseball and taking all of the precautions necessary to keep them healthy and safe. But at the same time, we want to go out there and compete and enjoy themselves. I’m excited to see what these young guys are able to do, and I’m excited to see what the Cardinals do. I’m excited for both.”
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