St. Louis Cardinals: Matt Holliday’s Final Encore

Holliday has been a staple of the St. Louis Cardinals organization since the 2011 championship season. Now he’s saying his farewell, but not before one last encore.

The St. Louis Cardinals play the magical game: baseball. This game has magic that occurs on the field, in the dugout, and between each and every single pitch.  This past week we have seen numerous instances of this magic and tonight was not shy either.

In baseball we’ve seen Wilmer Flores cry after he thought he was being traded, only to homer the next day when he wasn’t. We’ve seen David Ortiz after the Boston Marathon bombing—”this is our ****ing city.” We’ve seen Dee Gordon hit his first home run of the season in his first at-bat after the death of his good friend and teammate Jose Fernandez‘s death.

Cardinals fans are pretty familiar with baseball magic. Aledmys Diaz‘s grand slam this week after his return from Miami for Fernandez’s funeral. Game 6. And now, Matt Holliday‘s (likely) final at-bat as a Cardinal.

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On the same day that St. Louis announced that they weren’t planning on picking up Holliday’s option for the 2017 season, they also activated him from the disabled list. Certainly, fans were hopeful for a plate appearance or two before the end of the season, but nothing was for sure; in a playoff race, every at-bat counts.

Luckily, it only took a few hours for a chance to arise after the Cardinals took a 6-run lead, capitalized by a couple home runs. And Matt Holliday takes the plate in a pinch-hit situation. Tears welling in his eyes, every fan at Busch Stadium standing and cheering.

And what else would happen? On an 0-2 count, Holliday cranks one into the Cardinals bullpen, rounding the bases to utter pandemonium at Busch.  Number seven hits a home run for the seventh run in the game!

Holliday was the largest free-agent signing in St. Louis Cardinals history, played a big part in the 2011 championship run, and has been a vital part and a key face of the organization, characterized by his bull-esque base running, absurdly hard hits, and quiet leadership.

For a player like Matt Holliday, it’s only natural that his Cardinals career would end in such dramatic fashion. We’ll all miss you, Matty H.

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