Earlier this week the St. Louis Cardinals informed Matt Holliday that it was unlikely going to exercise his $17 million option for 2017.  Before Friday’s game with the Pirates, general manager John Mozeliak made that official to the public and announced that the team would activate Holliday from the disabled list in order to give the veteran outfielder an opportunity to salute the fans with one final appearance.

Holliday did not disappoint.  With tears in his eyes during the 7th inning, Holliday stepped in as a pinch-hitter and hit a solo home run to right field, flaring an 0-2 offspeed pitch into the Cardinals’ bullpen.

Jedd Gyorko, Mike Matheny and Adam Wainwright react

Watch the highlight courtesy of Fox Sports/MLB.com)

It was an emotional day for Matt Holliday who chose not to speak with the media, but instead released a statement:

I would like to thank Mr. Dewitt, Mo and the entire ownership group for the opportunity to play for the St. Louis Cardinals.

I am proud of what we have accomplished on and off the field during the past seven years.  I have also been humbled by the incredible support and participation in our Homers for Health program.

It has been an honor to play in front of such great fans and for such a historic organization.  I can honestly say it has been a dream come true.

While I’m disappointed this could be it here in St. Louis, I understand that it might be time to move on.

I’d like to express my love and admiration for Tony, Mike, and all of the coaches and staff that I have had the pleasure to do life with these past 7+ years.

The most emotional part of this is my teammates and the relationships I’ve built with some of these guys over the years.  Particularly, Adam and Yadi, to be considered part of the core with two of the finest human beings I’ve ever known.

Finally, I’m eternally thankful for the Lord bringing me to the city of St. Louis in August of 2009. Lots of cool stuff has happened since then. On behalf of my wife Leslee and our children Jackson, Ethan, Gracyn and Reed – Thank you!