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BSN Exclusive: Matt Holliday, Carlos Gonzalez on the "surreal' nature of sharing a clubhouse

Drew Creasman Avatar
September 8, 2018

DENVER – On Nov. 11, 2008, news broke that the Colorado Rockies had completed a trade with the Oakland Athletics that, as time has now told, sent out one pillar of the franchise and replaced it with another.

The best player on the most successful team in organization history, Matt Holliday, was sent out for a man who has now played in the second-most games of anyone to wear the Rockies uniform – done so with all-star ability and endless swagger, Carlos Gonzalez.

Holliday, robbed of an MVP in 2007, couldn’t have been more instrumental in the rise of those Rockies and their run to the World Series – still the only October Classic to come to Colorado.

Gonzalez’ emergence in the second half of 2009 was a revelation and just as vital to achieving the best single-season record in the club’s history. He was a legitimate MVP candidate in 2010, survived the ups and downs that came with untimely injuries and a lack of team success and fell off sharply last season before something of a late-season reclamation showing.

And, despite the general consensus that the Rockies should finally have moved on from Gonzalez when he hit free agency this year, the team brought him back on a one-year deal. Now, the man they call CarGo has his fingerprints all over another exciting season.

It is with a blissful twist of delicious irony that they now share a clubhouse.

“It’s surreal,” Gonzalez told BSN Denver. “That’s how life shows you that anything is possible.”

The gravity of the transaction was never lost on him.

“I got traded for one of the best players in franchise history,” he says. “I was just a 23-year-old kid trying to establish myself, trying to figure it out, and now we’re in the same dugout. That’s the circle of life. We enjoy it as much as possible. It’s funny and it’s a blessing, man.”

But, he reminds me, this actually isn’t the first time they’ve played for the same team.

“We’ve had fun during All-Star games and being in the same dugouts then was always a fun thing and always a strange thing,” he recalls.

The 38-year old Holliday, who, quite frankly, is a borderline Hall-of-Fame player when you take a deep look at his numbers, now not only shares a dugout and occasionally the same outfield with the man with whom he traded places. Adding extra layers to the palpable awesomeness, Charlie Blackmon—another man on the 25 All-Time Rockies shirt—can regularly be seen playing between them.

You can even take it a step further and argue that a potential fourth generation of superstar outfielder has joined them in David Dahl.

But when it comes to these symmetric ironies, Holliday says they aren’t just a bonus feature but were even a part of his decision to return to, and quite possibly finish his career in, the place where it all began 5,280 feet above sea level.

“Yeah, it’s pretty cool,” he says. “That was always one of my things about wanting to get back up here was getting to play with Carlos. We’ve kind become friends from afar and getting a chance to play with him and Nolan and some of these guys that I’ve kept up with has been exciting.”

The only thing that might have made this all somehow more perfect would have been a reunion with reliever Huston Street who was also involved in the trade. Believe it or not, when Street was in attendance for a 25-year Anniversary celebration earlier in the season, he remarked that this was discussed in spring training as a possibility but that things simply didn’t work out for him to make one final run in Major League Baseball.

This close.

When asked about that, Gonzalez couldn’t hold back a hearty laugh and his trademark smile.

“Huston was here when we had that anniversary and it was good to see him,” he says. “It’s always awesome when you get to hang out with players that you’ve played with in the past. And now I get to play with Matt. Funny, man.”

Holliday wouldn’t hold back a laugh at the idea either but concluded, “I think [Street] has found plenty of other hobbies.”

A trade that fundamentally altered each person and organization involved has come full circle in poetic perfection.

And now, the only thing that could be sweeter for Carlos Gonzalez and Matt Holliday at this point in their careers than sharing a clubhouse… is sharing a clubhouse drenched in champagne.


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