Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Colorado Rockies Play First Home Game

On April 9, 1993, the Colorado Rockies play their first home game in franchise history and record their first victory in franchise history, in an 11-4 win over the Montreal Expos.
Mile High Stadium in Denver, Colorado was the home for the Rockies in their first two-seasons in the MLB.

Denver had long been a hotbed of minor league baseball and many in the area desired a major league team. Following the Pittsburgh drug trials, an unsuccessful attempt was made to purchase the Pittsburgh Pirates and relocate them.

However, in 1991, as part of Major League Baseball's two-team expansion (they also added the Florida (now Miami) Marlins), an ownership group representing Denver led by John Antonucci and Michael I. Monus were granted a franchise; they took the name "Rockies" due to Denver's proximity to the Rocky Mountains, which is reflected in their logo.

They began play in 1993, sharing Mile High Stadium with the National Football League's Denver Broncos their first two seasons while Coors Field was constructed. It was completed for the 1995 Major League Baseball season.

Outside of Coors Field in Denver, Colorado where the Rockies have called home since 1995.
In 1993 they started play in the western division of the National League. Since that date, the Rockies have reached the MLB postseason three times, each time as the National League wild card team. Twice (1995 and 2009) they were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs. In 2007 the Rockies advanced all the way to the World Series, only to be swept by the Boston Red Sox.

Matt Holliday won the 2007 NLCS MVP award en route to the Rockies first World Series appearance.

In 2007 the Rockies won the Warren Giles Trophy for the National League champions and the Baseball America Organization of the Year award.

The Rockies play their home games at Coors Field. Their newest Spring Training home, Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, opened in March 2011 and is shared with the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Inside of Coors Field, the home of the Rockies in Denver, Colorado.
The Rockies have only retired one number in franchise history, and that is no. 42, which was worn by Jackie Robinson. His number has been retired league wide in honoring the first African-American baseball player to make it to the Major Leagues.
Though not retired, Larry Walker's number 33 has not been issued since he was traded during the 2004 season after 10 years with the Rockies.

The Rockies have had one MVP, Larry Walker in 1997, when he hit .366 with 49 home runs, 130 RBI, 33 stolen bases, and 409 total bases, en route to becoming the first Canadian player to win the MVP Award. He became and remains the only player to have at least 25 stolen bases and a slugging percentage of more than .700 in a season.

Walker's 409 total bases in 1997 were the most in an NL season since Stan Musial's 1948 season, although the mark was bettered by Barry Bonds in 2001 (411).

Combined with 12 outfield assists, the season remains one of the finest all-around performances in recent baseball history. Even more impressively, Walker's breakout season came just one year after various injuries limited him to 83 games and 272 at-bats, although the NL Comeback Player of the Year award went to Darren Daulton.

The Rockies have also had one Rookie of the Year winner, Jason Jennings in 2002.
The Rockies have boasted 11 different Silver Sluggers including Dante Bichette, Vinny Castilla, Andres Galarraga, Eric Young, Ellis Burks, Mike Hampton, Todd Helton, Matt Holliday, Carlos Gonzalez, Troy Tulowitzki and Walker.

The Rockies have had one Hank Aaron Award winner in Helton, and five Gold Glove winners including Neifi Perez, Helton, Gonzalez, Tulowitzki and Walker.

The Rockies have had the Manager of the Year Award given to their skippers twice in 1995 to Don Baylor and 2009 to Jam Tracy.