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Cards vs Pirates in last regular season game of the year

Cards Matt Holliday jogs onto the field for the final time in the ninth inning of the game between the Cards and the Pirates on Sunday, Oct. 2, 2016, at Busch Stadium. Holliday got a standing ovation. Photo by J.B. Forbes, jforbes@post-dispatch.com

There is no questioning that the Cardinals’ offense could use a boost. And there, standing behind the batting cage Friday afternoon, was a batsman who has nearly 2,100 hits and a .299 lifetime average.

On the down side, former Cardinals star Matt Holliday is 39 years old now and a college coach — a volunteer outfield and hitting instructor for his brother, Josh, at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, Okla., where he grew up.

Holliday, who was in town for a “Homers for Health” event on Thursday night, said he wasn’t officially retired but virtually.

“I had some people call (about him playing) during spring training but it really wasn’t anything I was interested in,” said Holliday, who finished last season with Colorado. “Teams that I didn’t feel like had a great chance to win the World Series. I wasn’t going to play just to play.

“I’m not officially retiring or anything but I’m kind of moving on to what’s next. I’m using this as an opportunity to coach with my brother and see how I like it. I’m not sure what’s next. It gives me a chance to work with kids and be part of a team that’s competing.

“We should be real good. We were one game removed from the College World Series last year.”

Holliday has moved his family back to Stillwater from Tequesta, Fla., where they had been living.

“It’s hard to leave the beach,” said Holliday. “We’ve got red dirt now.”

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Rick Hummel is a Cardinals beat writer for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.