Colorado Rockies: Excitement bubbles as Matt Holliday returns with “high celling”

DENVER - MAY 2: Outfielder Matt Holliday #5 of the Colorado Rockies swings at an Atlanta Braves pitch during the MLB game at Coors Field on May 2, 2004 in Denver, Colorado. The Rockies won 13-4. (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images)
DENVER - MAY 2: Outfielder Matt Holliday #5 of the Colorado Rockies swings at an Atlanta Braves pitch during the MLB game at Coors Field on May 2, 2004 in Denver, Colorado. The Rockies won 13-4. (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images) /

DENVER – Seven-time All-Star Matt Holliday once more plays for the Colorado Rockies. The 1998 draft pick is the most prolific left fielder in franchise history and his 2007 season ranks amongst the best offensive seasons in the history of the baseball.

In this, the Rockies 26th season, they’re celebrating their 25th anniversary and for that, they named their all-time 25 best players to build a team earlier this season. Holliday accumulated the 6th most WAR for a Rockies’ player in his first five-year stint before being traded in 2009 to Oakland and is a prominent person to the club.

However, Holliday is just one of six players who are on the Rockies active roster who was on that dream team. Carlos Gonzalez, who came back from the A’s in the trade that sent away Holliday, was also honored in the outfield. As too was center fielder Charlie Blackmon. In the infield, Nolan Arenado, DJ LeMahieu and Chris Iannetta were all on the list.

Still, one could make the case that if the Rockies were to redo their top-25 players list in 2023 for their 30th anniversary that this current roster may actually bump three or four players off that list as the current guys may include Adam Ottavino, Kyle Freeland, Jon Gray, and German Marquez.

Given the possibility that 10 of the Rockies best 25 players of All-Time (with the benefit of some time and hopeful projecting) are on the current roster this is not a sliver time, but a golden time to be a fan of the Denver Nine.

“Yeah, yeah it’s totally (cool),” Ottavino exclusively told Rox Pile. “There are a lot of important figures in Rockies history at one time and couple it with the guys trying to make a legacy now. We want to be the first team that wins the division, that would go a long way for the fans.”

With the Rockies firmly in the hunt this late for just the sixth time since coming into the show in 1993, the legacy of this team will loom large in local lore. The uniqueness of the team being relatively very young and relatively very good at the moment has spurred this great time.

"“I think this is a pretty exciting team to watch and I enjoyed it from a far,” Holliday told reporters. “I think it shows that the buzz for this team is pretty high which is familiar to me. Down the stretch in 2007 were some of the most exciting games I played. The fan base here has been very loyal.”"

And even if it only lasts through season’s end, the Rockies will get this stretch run, one that won’t be forgotten no matter the result.

“Last night when I got wind of it I was excited,” Ottavino described finding out about Holliday. “He means a lot to this organization in general, just from a history standpoint. To come in with this group who is playing well, to add a guy like that, it’s a great story if he puts us over the top.”

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"“It could be (a) big (addition,) even just on paper—game planning against us will become a lot more tricky,” Ottavino said. “If he (Holliday) can be himself out there, it could be huge… he’s powerful, one of the strongest guys in the league, he’s got some of the most experience and he keeps himself in great shape. Age won’t hurt him the box, his ceiling is high.”"

The 38-year-old Holliday says he’s in great shape and looks it but that’s not how he felt this morning.

"“It was pretty surreal,” he said. “Honestly, it felt sort of normal, but at the same time pretty nostalgic a little bit. Just thinking back 15 years ago, when I did that for the first time. So it was kind of that kid at Christmas last night. Had a hard time sleeping. Really excited to walk into Coors Field again as a member of the Rockies.”"

And that’s the fan angle. The one that has everyone in and outside the Rockies clubhouse buzzing. One of the best teams the franchise has ever had added the best player from the year the franchise hit its current peak.

Next. Is the 2018 Rockies starting rotation the best in franchise history?. dark

As Holliday said,

"“In some ways it’s similar to 2007. it’s a lot of young guys and guys who came up together. A good mix of veteran leadership and young players that are bringing a lot of energy and really trying to prove themselves. Barring the ending, that would be pretty fantastic. 2007 and maybe with a different ending”"