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Matt Holliday went deep in maybe his last Cardinals at-bat and yeah, there were emotions

For nearly a decade, Matt Holliday has been a linchpin of the Cardinals' lineup. Since being traded by the A's to St. Louis during the 2009 season, he's made four All-Star teams and helped the club win a World Series in 2011. 

On Friday, however, the team revealed that it does not plan to exercise his option for 2017, as he's been injury-plagued the last two seasons. MLB.com's Jenifer Langosch wrote that Mike Matheny's club activated Holliday from the DL, where he's been dealing with a fractured thumb, in hopes of getting him one final at-bat in front of the Busch Stadium faithful this weekend. 

Well, that at-bat came in Friday's 7-0 win over the Pirates, and Holliday really made it count: He hit an opposite-field home run in the seventh inning. With a still-not-yet-healed thumb. Yep.

Holliday, who appeared misty-eyed at the plate, rounded the bases and returned to the dugout, embracing Yadier Molina and his teammates before giving the fans a much-deserved curtain call:

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Naturally, seeing the ball eke over the fence in right field set Holliday's teammates into a frenzy:

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After the game, MLB.com associate reporter Nick Krueger asked Brandon Moss about Holliday's big hit: 

What a moment, and definitely one Holliday won't ever forget no matter where he heads next. 

It just goes to show you that once again, how can you not be romantic about baseball?