Matthew Thomas Holliday (born January 15, 1980) is an American professional baseball left fielder for the St. Louis Cardinals of Major League Baseball (MLB). A World Series champion in 2011, Holliday is regarded as a key figure of the Cardinals' success of the 2010s and of the Colorado Rockies' in 2007 for hitting, baserunning and leadership abilities. As of 2014, he has totaled nearly 2,000 hits, more than 250 home runs, 400 doubles, 1,000 runs scored, 1,000 runs batted in, 100 stolen bases, a .300 batting average, .500 slugging percentage and .900 on-base plus slugging percentage. His distinctions include six All-Star selections, four Silver Slugger Awards and a Darryl Kile Good Guy Award. A more productive second-half hitter throughout his career up to 2014, he has generated a .937 on-base plus slugging percentage (OPS) compared to .884 in the first half, and has hit 13 more home runs in 160 fewer games.
The Colorado Rockies selected Holliday in the seventh round of the 1998 Major League Baseball Draft from high school in Oklahoma, where he was also a highly touted NFL quarterback prospect. He debuted in the major leagues in 2004, becoming the Rockies' starting left fielder and a middle of the lineup presence. In 2006, he became the 19th player ever to reach 195 hits, 30 home runs, 45 doubles, 115 runs and 110 RBI in one season. The next season, he improved in all offensive categories and became the 13th player since 1962 to collect 200 hits and 50 doubles in a season while winning his first batting title. He won the National League Championship Series (NLCS) MVP while helping lead the Rockies to their first-ever World Series appearance. He batted .435 with a .652 slugging percentage in the NLCS four years later on his way to winning his first World Series ring with the Cardinals. In 2014, he became just the fifth player in MLB history to amass at least 20 home runs, 30 doubles, 75 RBI and 80 runs scored each season for nine consecutive seasons.
Besides the Rockies and Cardinals, Holliday has also played for the Oakland Athletics. With six total posteason appearances, he has played in the NLCS five times, including four straight with the Cardinals from 2011–14. In addition to his presence as a leader on the field, Holliday is active in charity work and assisting his teammates off the field. As a result of his leadership and hitting abilities, he has sometimes been called the "Stillwater Stinger." He is under contract through 2016, with multiple option conditions for 2017.
By Dean Hanley