Matt Holliday works with his brother during the offseason

Cardinals left fielder has spent the winter in Stillwater working with Josh Holliday, Oklahoma State's baseball coach.
by Michael Baldwin Published: February 12, 2013
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photo - St. Louis Cardinals' Matt Holliday hits an RBI single during the first inning of Game 4 of baseball's National League championship series against the San Francisco Giants Thursday, Oct. 18, 2012, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)  ORG XMIT: NLCS130
St. Louis Cardinals' Matt Holliday hits an RBI single during the first inning of Game 4 of baseball's National League championship series against the San Francisco Giants Thursday, Oct. 18, 2012, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey) ORG XMIT: NLCS130

Moving the family to Stillwater for a month after the holidays, Matt has reconnected with friends. He's attended OSU basketball games, even some Stillwater High games.

Oklahoma is home.

Leslee attended OSU. Her parents still live in Chickasha, where she was raised. Her two brothers live in Oklahoma City. Her best friend is Jenny Holliday, Josh's wife.

“We love it here and we love our families,” Leslee said. “We can be flexible a little bit longer until the kids get older. ... A dream would be to retire in Stillwater on a big piece of land with a lake. But we haven't made any of those decisions, yet.”

Matt has four years left on a seven-year, $120 million contract. They've lived in St. Louis year round the past two years. Matt and Leslee are active in St. Louis charities, including Matt taking on a larger role in some of Albert Pujols' charities after Pujols signed with the Angels.

“We do love it here (in Oklahoma),” Matt said. “It's nice to be around family. Obviously this has been home to me most of my life. My brother is here now. Leslee's family is close. It will be an offseason to offseason deal.”

The Hollidays will have three residences this year. Matt reports this week to training camp in Jupiter, Fla. The family will join him in Florida and return to St. Louis when the regular season begins.

Leslee is pregnant. The couple's fourth child is due in August. Jackson, 9, is the oldest. He's in third grade.

“Jackson is a gypsy. He rolls with it very well,” Matt said. “It's good for him. He's a pretty cultured kid. Being friends with the principal and knowing people around here (in Stillwater) they've been very accommodating.

“We're in a profession where we're pretty mobile. Pro baseball is not a normal person's life. There's nothing cut and dried what we'll be doing (next offseason or the future). We kind of fly by the seat of our pants.”

It probably would be unrealistic to take extended offseason trips to Stillwater when all the kids are school age.

“Sometime down the road, when baseball is over, if Oklahoma becomes a permanent home, I know Matt would be really happy with that,” Josh said. “It's been great to be around them. It's been awesome for our kids. It's been a fun offseason for him and great for us.

“But right now Matt is preparing himself to be the best player he can be and help the Cardinals win the world championship. When he breaks camp he wants to have his best season ever. That's all he's thinking about right now.”


by Michael Baldwin
Reporter
Mike Baldwin has been a sports reporter for The Oklahoman since 1982. Mike graduated from Okmulgee High School in 1974 and attended Oklahoma Christian University, graduating with a journalism degree in 1978. Mike's first job was sports editor...
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