On the Road: Back at Coors Field but back in time for some turns
When you dress for a baseball game like you’re going skiing and you dress to go snowboarding like you’re going to a baseball game, you know it’s springtime in the Rockies.
So it was that Friday morning I pulled out hand warmers and heavy gloves, put on my snowboard socks and my flannel-lined pants, piled on the layers and donned a stocking cap as we left my friends’ house in the west Denver suburbs to head to Coors Field in the snow.
I missed the first two seasons of Rockies baseball when they were playing in the old Mile High Stadium, but I renewed my love of baseball when I walked into Coors Field for the first game at the new stadium April 26, 1995. They opened the strike-shortened season against the New York Mets on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball and put on a thriller in 14 innings.
Since then, I’ve made it a goal to see at least one game at 20th and Blake every season. It is a place where memories are born.
The first and only time I bought baseball tickets for my dad (a lifelong Detroit Tigers fan) and me to go to a June game in 1997. Behind the Rockies dugout. I felt like the Good Son. He died two months later.
On July 6, 1998, I learned we were having our first child. About an hour later I drove down to cover the Home Run Derby during the 1998 All-Star weekend (and we still have that silly Glory Bear Beanie Baby).
I spent Sunday afternoon waiting out a May snowstorm with my younger brother and we sat in the second deck for more than two hours watching it snow, drinking beer and reconnecting. We’re best friends to this day.
I watched the play-in game for the 2007 postseason from just above the scoreboard in right field and hugged strangers. Little did I know I would spend more time during that World Series run at the stadium and the office than at home, my wife will tell you.
Hell, I’ve even been to an NHL game there in February 2016 and it was way warmer than Friday’s season-opener.
This was my first Opening Day since the 2008 game when they got their World Series runner-up rings. Ten years later it was fun to be apart of that excitement and add the coldest home opener to my list of Coors Field “accomplishments.”
Not to worry, I hurried back home Saturday morning and put on my rain gear to hit Ajax for a few slushy afternoon runs less than 24 hours later.
Ah, springtime in the Rockies.
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With the likelihood that some level of COVID-19 restrictions on large gatherings will still be in place come Mountain Fair weekend, July 23-25, organizers are taking some aspects of the fair to the streets and elsewhere around town.