Holliday absorbed lessons of game in Stillwater

Dad's coaching tenure at Oklahoma State let Cards slugger refine skills at early age

Holliday absorbed lessons of game in Stillwater

Matt Holliday, OF, Cardinals
Hometown:
Stillwater, Okla.

Holliday never played collegiate baseball, but he grew up as a player at Oklahoma State.

Holliday's father, Tom, was a coach for the Cowboys' baseball team, so Matt spent plenty of time at the team facility. There, Holliday worked out along with his brother Josh, and they honed their baseball skills and observed the habits of collegiate athletes. Josh is now the head coach at OSU.

Matt wasn't just a baseball player, though. He was an athlete. As a senior at Stillwater High School, Holliday earned Gatorade Player of the Year honors as both a quarterback and a baseball player.

Holliday was committed to Oklahoma State for football, so he fell to the seventh round of the 1998 First-Year Player Draft, when Colorado selected him. He ultimately chose baseball and has enjoyed an outstanding professional career with the Rockies, Athletics and Cardinals after spending six seasons in the Minors.

Steven Petrella is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.