Matt Holliday spent the first six games of the World Series in a slump and the seventh game on the bench.
A bizarre wrist injury forced the St. Louis slugger to watch the climax of an amazing late-season surge and an exciting postseason run from the dugout.
Not exactly the way he dreamed of winning his first World Series title.
“It was frustrating,” he said. “It was heartbreaking to get to a Game 7 of a World Series and to realize that I had no chance to play.”
So, how did the Stillwater native balance the disappointment and the delirium?
Holliday insists it wasn't that hard. Maybe he's being modest about that. Maybe celebrating on the field and smiling in the clubhouse and spraying teammates with champagne and riding through the streets of St. Louis during the victory parade were some of the most difficult things he's ever done.
Or maybe the way he handled all of that is further evidence of why he's known as one of the good guys in baseball.
“Personally, I was really upset,” Holliday said, “but at the same time, I realized it was about the team.”
In a week, he is returning to Stillwater for the inaugural All-Star Holliday Dinner and Auction benefiting student activities at his alma mater, Stillwater High, Holliday is a reminder that grace and class is not lost in sports.
Holliday entered the World Series riding a high. He hit .435 in the NLCS against Milwaukee, driving in five runs and posting a .652 slugging percentage.
But against Texas, his bat went cold.
Game 1: 1-for-4.
Game 2: 0-for-2.
Game 3: 1-for-5.
The next three games didn't get any better.
Then in the sixth inning of Game 6, he was picked off third base by Rangers catcher Mike Napoli. Holliday dove back trying to beat the tag, and when he did, he jammed his wrist into the bag.
At first, he was diagnosed with a severely bruised little finger on his right hand, but as the night went on, his wrist began bothering him to the point that he couldn't sleep.