Team trainers determined he had a sprained right wrist, an injury severe enough that it would've sidelined him three weeks had it happened during the regular season.
“It was kind of the last straw in what seemed like every couple months ... I had something come up that was costing me from being able to play,” Holliday said via phone from his home in St. Louis. “I had a bit of a weird season.”
No doubt about that. Less than a day after going 3-for-4 with a homer on Opening Day, Holliday had an appendectomy. Then in August, he had to leave a game when a moth flew in his ear and lodged itself there.
But he had teammates step up then. That's what they did again in Game 7. Allen Craig played left field in place of Holliday, hitting a homer and made a leaping catch at the wall to rob Nelson Cruz of a homer in the sixth inning.
“Ultimately, we achieved the ultimate team goal,” Holliday said, “and it took all of us to get there, and it took all of us to finish it. You're proud to be part of a team like that.”
That's why Holliday celebrated the Cardinals' World Series title like he was on the field for the final out — it was about more than what happened during that past three hours. It was about the team, the journey, the brotherhood.
“The celebration is a lot about the relationships, not really just winning the last game,” Holliday said. “It's the celebration of achieving something that a group of men really wanted to accomplish, and it took everybody to come together and all do the things that are best for the team.
“That's what you're celebrating.”
Holliday did it with class.