Matt Holliday was indubitably beloved by Cardinals fans and one of the most prominent faces in the franchise. With his departure, who will fill that void?
Although he lacked the typical outgoing personality of a true face of the franchise, Matt Holliday was still beloved by Cardinals fans. After coming over from the Athletics, Holliday made a lasting mark on the Cardinals legacy. He brought the World Series trophy back to Saint Louis, batting .293 with 156 HRs in his 8 year tenure.
Off the field, Holliday continually showed he was a good guy, and although he did not have the personality of a Buster Posey or David Wright, he still endeared himself to Cardinals fans.
It would have been hard to select a face of the franchise during Holliday’s Cardinals career. His time coincided with Adam Wainwright, Yadier Molina, David Freese, and Chris Carpenter. The Cardinals never had just one guy – it was a big three situation, something similar to what the current Mets starting rotation is turning into.
Even if Holliday was not definitively the Cardinals’ guy, someone is still needed to fill his shoes this season. Here are some of the candidates.
Absolutely adored by fans of every team he has played for, Fowler has that superstar personality that the Cardinals lack. Even though he went to the Cubs’ division rival and archenemy, their fans still love him despite the heartbreak:
— Jeff Lamb (@Jefflamb21) March 8, 2017
Fowlers infectious personality and on field ability combine to make him the perfect face of the franchise. Plus, his contract is for five years, giving him ample time to make his mark in Saint Louis. And he has already gotten started with many Twitter promotions and giveaways, not to mention crushing it in Spring Training.
He has been a lifetime Redbird. Since breaking in in 2011, Carp has made a clear impact on the Cardinals. Playing nearly position on the field and hitting all over the order, he is immensely valuable to the team. However, he has not yet cemented his legacy with the Cardinals. While has discovered his power potential, he hasn’t settled on a position. Combined with the lack of off-field presence, Carpenter has a ways to go before gaining the title of face of the franchise.
Carson Kelly, Aledmys Diaz, Harrison Bader, Alex Reyes, Jack Flaherty, Sandy Alacantara. The fact of the matter is that the Cardinals are old. Yadi, Waino, and Peralta are all on their ways out. There is a new wave of players, filled with potential and excitement. While it is yet to be seen who will rise to prominence, it is likely that one of these prospects (or one not listed) will grow to take the crown of face of the franchise. Time will tell.
Until the next Matt Holliday reveals himself,
We must look to the veteran core for leadership. As the Cardinals push for a World Series this year, a leader will reveal himself if the team wants to be successful. Yadi has shown in the WBC and in years past his potential to truly spark a team.
Waino can do the same when he is on. Carlos Martinez is a dark horse. Regardless, there will be new players making an impact on this team, and if they can endear themselves to fans, we will find the face of the franchise. Don’t be worried, there are some very good candidates.
Stay tuned to Cardsblog through Opening day for more reasons to be excited for the 2017 season!
PHOTO CREDIT: © Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports