Fans interact with Holliday at Cardinals' speaker series

Fans interact with Holliday at Cardinals' speaker series

ST. LOUIS -- A group of roughly 100 fans had lunch in the Cardinals Club at Busch Stadium and listened to FOX Sports Midwest broadcaster Dan McLaughlin interview left fielder Matt Holliday on Thursday.

The fans paid $80 for the opportunity as part of the Cardinals' speaker series, which also included a photo on the warning track. Open to the public, the event sold out in the first 22 hours after it was announced.

Holliday opened up on a number of topics, such as what it means to have spent more time in the Majors (13 seasons, 1,702 games) than anyone else on the club.

"It's no big deal," Holliday told the crowd. "I like the role. When you come up, it's hard to imagine yourself thinking back. Now, I'm the oldest guy. I kind of like to be that guy that can offer any kind of help, but I still feel pretty young."

People came from as far away as Ohio and Oklahoma for the rare chance to see Holliday speak at length about his playing career as well as his personal life. McLaughlin pointed out the large number of kids in attendance at the event for a Thursday afternoon, including one in a full Holliday Cardinals uniform. He asked Holliday what it means to be an inspiration to a younger generation.

"That's something I take a lot of pride in," Holliday said. "That's something I take very seriously in representing the organization. And representing my family is very important to me."

The two also discussed Holliday's charitable endeavors with SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital and the influence his father, Tom, a long-time college baseball coach, has had on his life.

Holliday also touched on what he hopes to do in retirement.

"I think -- at least initially -- I want to spend a year or two at home," Holliday said. "I love the game, and I want to be involved. What that looks like, I'm not sure yet, but hopefully it can be something with the Cardinals and maybe I can sit next to you, [McLaughlin]."

The speaker series started three years ago, but Thursday was the first time the event was held during the day and with a current player. Past evenings have featured talks with Cardinals Hall of Famers Ozzie Smith, Lou Brock, Red Schoendienst and Bob Gibson.

McLaughlin closed the conversation with a question about what it means to be a Cardinals player.

"It's been cool to be part of an organization that has so much history and is still current," Holliday said. "To be part of an organization and a city that's so baseball crazy? That was kind of my goal as a kid and as a Minor Leaguer and a Major Leaguer to be a part of something like that, so it's worked out great."

Nick Krueger is a reporter for MLB.com based in St. Louis. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.