Colorado Rockies

Fri, 07 Nov 2008 19:43

The history of the Colorado Rockies

Information about the MLB team Colorado Rockies.


Based in Denver, the Colorado Rockies are one of the teams under the MLB or the Major League Baseball. Put up in 1993, the Rockies are active in the West Division of the National League. Regarding the name, it is so easy to guess, particularly if you are a citizen of the country, that the team's name is based on the place itself, which passes through the zone of Colorado.

History of the Colorado Rockies: The birth

Spearheaded by Larry Varnell, the Colorado Baseball Commission enticed the voters to approve a .1% tax (sales) to aid in the bankrolling of a stadium for their baseball. In 1991, the National League permitted Miami and Denver as venues for two expansion teams to start playing (in 1993). Thus, the Rockies entered the NL in 1993, side by side with the Florida squad.

History of the Colorado Rockies: The first season

The momentous day was April 5, 1993, when the Rockies did their very first game, which was against the New York Mets. The starter pitcher was Nied, but it was a contest that the Rockies lost. Their first home game became their first victory, a resounding win over the Montreal Expos, with a score of 11-4. A high point in the game happened at the bottom of 1st inning, Eric Young of the Colorado Rockies hit a home run.

Still, the Rockies experienced a true struggle in their inaugural season. There was a point in time where they had a 2-17 record. It was nothing short of amazing that at the season's conclusion, they had 67 wins, putting up a record for expansion franchise entities. The team's Andres Galarraga clinched the batting title with a figure of .370.

History of the Colorado Rockies: During the 90s

In 1994, the Colorado Rockies defeated Montreal, giving the Rockies a record of six to five. This was the very first time in franchise history that they got a winning profile. Still, that would be the one and only time in the season where they would get a record of above .500; they finished at 53-64. The Rockies landed at the last place at the NL West during that season which was affected by strikes.

The poor showing of the Rockies did not stop the team's hitters from getting a lot of attention. People claimed that they were helped by Denver's thin/dry air, allowing the balls to go farther than a sea-level environment would. Andred Galarraga, hit 31 homers, while Dante Bichete clinched 27. At this point in time, the Rockies led the attendance (majors), getting around 3,280,000 fans for the year.

Going to 1996, the Rockies were considered as strong, but Walker got injured. Outfielder Burks filled up the vacuum, batting .344 with 40 homers. He was just one of three in the team to hit 40 or above. An interesting note is that Bichette and Burks turned out to be the first pair in a team to both steal 30 bases and to hit 30 homers in a singular season, since Strawberry and Howard Johnson did in '87. Their pitchers were flooded with bad luck (i.e., injuries). The Rockies ended at 3rd place for the West, with a card of 83 to 79.

Walker was the first athlete in the history of the club to clinch the NL Most Valuable Player in 1997, boasting of .366, 49 homers, and RBI 130. He came to within a hair to getting the Triple Crown for that year. He also got the first Gold Glove in the records of the franchise.

History of the Colorado Rockies: The trades

In 1999, Bob Gebhard resigned as the general manager, and a month after that, Dan O'Dowd got over the driver's seat. The latter then engaged in noteworthy deals that changed the franchise sgnificantly. Dante Bichette turned over his loyalty to the Reds of Cincinnati. Kile went to Cardinals. Then, in a head-spinning four-team trade, Vinny Castilla went to Tampa Bay's team. After all these, Larry Walker became the only player of the Blake Street Bombers left in the squad.

All the changes turned out to be good for the Colorado Rockies, for they had their first winning year since 1997. Helton was at his prime, leading the league with the following statistics: 42 homers and 147 RBI. The team's pitchers showed their improvement too, their ERA was 5.26, contributing to the team's 82-80 overall card.

It was in 2004 that the Rockies got Castilla (re-acquired actually), but Walker and Wilson spent a greater part of the year on the injury roster. The Rockies struggled, with a record of 68-94, one of the worst in the franchise's history. At this time, Walker was now nearing 40 years old, and the Rockies' administration traded him to St Louis Cardinals.

History of the Colorado Rockies: The new generation

This Walker trade started a set of moves that would result in a total "makeover" of the team. Burnitz and Castilla went out as free agents; Charles Johnson got traded to the Boston squad. Royce Clayton, the team's shortstop in 2004, was permitted to say good-bye. The club then promoted all of the following to a heavier playing time: JD Closser, Clint Barmes, Brad Hawpe, and Atkins. The starter rotation was made up of Kim, Joe Kennedy, Chacon, and Jennings. Except for two players, almost all of the members of the team were below 30.

Record-wise, it was a very bad year for the team. Wilson and Helton, the only veterans left, struggled too. Helton hit 20 homers, which was the fewest in his whole career. Wilson spent some time injured and, as the Rockies got eliminated, was traded. He went on playing for the Washington Nationals team.

History of the Colorado Rockies: A major controversy

In 2007, just days prior to the first game of 2007 World Series, the Rockies disclosed that the tickets would be accessible to the public only through online means. This notwithstanding prior commitments with retail entities. On Oct 22, the only contractor authorized by the Rockies to distribute the tickets had to suspend selling due to an incredible number of tries to buy.

The organization gave out an official statement that they got victimized by a denial of service incident. The claim could not be proved, however. The selling resumed the following day, but a lot of circles were disgusted with the 'online only' policy that was enforced. Example of the disadvantaged group: the disabled who had no easy access to the Net. It has been widely acknowledged that scalpers bought tickets by the tons. Right after all tickets had been sold out, the normal cost had inflated to about five times.

History of the Colorado Rockies: The modern history

The team started the 2008 season with very few changes. In April of this year, they defeated the San Diego Padres, two to one, in a monumental game that took more than six hours. This was the longest contest in the history of the team. More than 600 total pitches were done by 15 different athletes. The team finished the season as 3rd in the NL West, a record of 74-88. The management said good-bye to the hitting coach, Cockrell, the 3rd base coach Gallego, and the bench coach, Quirk. It was nothing short of a forced exodus from the coaching staff.