Pioneers blast Bombers ahead of spring break

Former Stillwater High star and MLB player Matt Holliday takes in the Pioneers' 12-2 run-rule victory against Midwest City on Saturday at Couch Park.

Former Major League Baseball All-Star Matt Holliday has joined the Oklahoma State baseball coaching staff as an assistant coach and will be responsible for the Cowboys’ offensive development and outfield play.

Holliday played 15 big league seasons for Colorado, St. Louis, Oakland and the New York Yankees and was a seven-time All-Star selection during a career that spanned from 2004-2018.

“Matt loves the game of baseball and has a passion for helping young men pursue their dreams both on the field and in life,” said OSU head coach Josh Holliday. “We are so excited to have him join our coaching staff — with Rob (Walton), Marty (Lees) and Matt, we have a coaching team established that will work together to recruit and develop players at the highest level.

“Matt’s expertise in hitting and outfield play will fit perfectly within our staff. Our players will have the opportunity to learn from one of the finest offensive players in baseball history. Matt is a teacher, and his ability to articulate the movements and mindset of the swing is exceptional.”

Holliday played in 1,903 games during his career and recorded a .299 batting average while tallying 316 home runs, 468 doubles and 1,220 RBIs. He was a four-time Silver Slugger Award winner and helped lead the Cardinals to the 2011 World Series title.

“I’m excited to join the baseball staff at Oklahoma State, and I’m looking forward to the chance to help young men reach their potential in all areas of their lives,” Matt Holliday said. “Coaching alongside my brother and the staff he has put together makes me eager to be a part of it. Thanks to Coach (Mike) Holder and my big brother for giving me this opportunity.”

Holliday broke into the big leagues in 2004 with Colorado and finished fifth in National League Rookie of the Year voting after hitting .290 with 14 homers and 57 RBIs in 121 games.

Over his first five MLB seasons, all with Colorado, Holliday was a three-time NL All-Star, earning that honor from 2006-08.

Holliday enjoyed his best season in 2007 when he finished second in the National League MVP voting and led the Rockies to their first-ever World Series appearance. He led the NL with a .340 batting average and also topped the league in hits (216), RBIs (137), total bases (386) and doubles (50) while ranking fourth with 36 homers.

During the ’07 National League Championship Series against Arizona, Holliday hit .333 with a pair of homers and four RBIs and was named the NLCS MVP.

After a brief stint with Oakland in 2009, Holliday was traded to St. Louis and spent eight seasons with the Cardinals, leading the club to six postseason appearances, including two World Series.

Holliday spent 2017 with the Yankees before returning to Colorado late in the 2018 season and helping the Rockies earn a berth in the playoffs.

“Matt is an ideal teammate who understands how to balance hard work with fun and has a great compassion and concern for others,” said Lance Berkman, former MLB All-Star and teammate of Holliday’s in St. Louis. “His calm, steady demeanor and knowledge of the game will be a tremendous asset for OSU. He is able to communicate hitting like few can and, more importantly, is someone that will have a far reaching positive impact on the players off the field.

“In short, if I had a son, I’d want him to be around Matt as much as possible!”

A Stillwater native and graduate of Stillwater High School, Holliday was a standout on the baseball diamond and football gridiron for the Pioneers. He signed with Colorado after the Rockies drafted him in the seventh round of the 1998 MLB Draft.

Matt and his wife, Leslee, have four children — Jackson, Gracyn, Ethan and Reed.

Recommended for you