As Matt Holliday rejoins the Rockies, let's look back at his best moments in Colorado
Matt Holliday will start in left field for the Rockies as they take on the Padres on Thursday afternoon nearly a decade after he last called Coors Field home. Since signing a Minor League contract with the Rockies in July, Holliday has played in 15 games for the Triple-A Albuquerque Isotopes ... and all he's done is hit. In 62 plate appearances, he has a .346/.452/.596 line with three home runs.
On the occasion of his return to Colorado, here are some of the most memorable moments from his previous time with the Rockies.
The really long home run
Holliday has hit 314 home runs in the Majors, but the 62nd of his career may have been the most impressive. He took a breaking ball from Giants rookie Matt Cain and sent it a long way through the thin Denver air.
When he definitely touched home plate
After 162 games in the 2007 season, the Rockies and Padres were tied atop the National League Wild Card standings with 89-73 records. So, they faced off in a one-game playoff for a ticket to the postseason.
The Rockies' season was on the brink as they entered the bottom of the 13th inning, trailing 8-6 with Trevor Hoffman on the mound for the Padres. After the Rockies started the inning with back-to-back doubles to cut the deficit to one, Holliday came to the plate with a chance to tie or win the game. His triple tied the game:
Two batters later, Holliday came home to score the winning run on a sacrifice fly. Despite some controversy regarding whether he actually touched home plate, the Rockies' win held up and they advanced to the postseason:
Perhaps most importantly, the moment led to the creation of this delightful commercial:
The clutch NL Championship Series home run
The Rockies made good on their postseason berth, advancing all the way to the World Series. Holliday was also instrumental in that run, taking home NLCS MVP honors after the team swept the D-backs. In the final game of the sweep, they scored all six of their runs in the fourth inning, and Holliday capped it off with a three-run home run that wound up providing the decisive run in the game.
The World Series home run
Holliday hit five home runs in the 2007 postseason. Though the Rockies were swept by the Red Sox in the World Series, he still did his best to keep his team in the series. His three-run homer in Game 3 cut into the Red Sox's lead and was one of only three homers the team hit in the Series.
When he scored the winning run in the largest comeback in franchise history
Entering the bottom of the fourth inning on July 4, 2008, the Rockies trailed the Marlins, 13-4. They eventually came back from that deficit to win the game, 18-17. Holliday was instrumental along the way, hitting a solo homer to lead off the fifth inning and a grand slam in the seventh that cut the Marlins' lead to one run at 17-16.
Two innings later, Holliday was standing at third base with the game tied when Chris Iannetta singled, bringing him home to score the winning run in the largest comeback in Rockies franchise history:
With the Rockies in the thick of another postseason race -- 11 years after he first led them there -- there should be plenty of opportunity for Holliday to provide some memorable moments for the team.