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Holland, Rockies hand out toys to children

Closer has been involved with Toys of Summer initiative
MLB.com

DENVER -- Rockies closer Greg Holland continued his annual tradition of delivering toys to children's hospitals on Tuesday.

Holland partnered with Toys of Summer and visited Children's Hospital Colorado in Aurora early Tuesday afternoon. Teammates Kyle Freeland, Tyler Chatwood and Jake McGee, as well as manager Bud Black and first base coach Tony Diaz, joined Holland on the visit.

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DENVER -- Rockies closer Greg Holland continued his annual tradition of delivering toys to children's hospitals on Tuesday.

Holland partnered with Toys of Summer and visited Children's Hospital Colorado in Aurora early Tuesday afternoon. Teammates Kyle Freeland, Tyler Chatwood and Jake McGee, as well as manager Bud Black and first base coach Tony Diaz, joined Holland on the visit.

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The group visited about 25 to 30 children, Holland said, donating toys and chatting with them to boost their spirits.

"It's a really tough situation for most of those kids being in the hospital, some of them weeks at a time," Holland said. "But they're always in good spirits, they always enjoy getting to talk to us. Other than their parents being there, they're pretty much sitting there by themselves."

Holland made it a point to talk about some of the children's interests, which, in some cases, included sports.

"I met a [Green Bay] Packers fan today, and I asked him how he snuck his blanket in there because I noticed it was a Packers blanket," Holland joked. "And another kid told me that basically I was crazy for liking LeBron [James] over Steph [Curry]."

Holland participated in Toys of Summer events each season he spent in Kansas City. Former Royals outfielder Jeff Francoeur introduced Holland to the event through their wives.

When Holland signed with the Rockies, he said his wife Lacey made sure to organize the event in Colorado.

"After [the Francoeurs] left, my wife was still volunteering at Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, so we kept it going with that," Holland said. "She made some phone calls and made it happen here."

Though the Hollands found it tricky to schedule the event this year with the birth of their daughter last month, they still wanted to visit the hospital.

"I've always said, if I can make one kid's eyes light up for a few minutes and give them a break from what they're having to deal with then it's definitely worth it," Holland said.

Worth noting

Carlos Gonzalez continues to deal with a sore left ankle that forced him out of Monday's lineup shortly before the game. He's sitting out Tuesday's game, but should be available to pinch-hit if necessary, Black said.

"He came into today feeling much better," Black said. "Went through some therapy with the medical staff and he's feeling better. I have to catch up with him after batting practice, but we're pretty confident that CarGo's going to be OK."

• Black is concerned about the Rockies' recent RISP woes, but said the team won't shake things up and reconstruct its lineup. The Rockies are still getting runners on base, Black said, which is a positive sign.

"If we end up hitting Charlie [Blackmon] third or fourth, then we have to make the decision of who hits first or second," Black said. "You gotta remember that those players will end up getting the most at-bats during the course of the game."

Max Gelman is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver.

Colorado Rockies, Greg Holland