I am a huge fan of the Colorado Rockies. They are my absolute favorite team in this world and Coors Field has become my second home in a sense. I like to refer to them as my Sugar Sweet Black Vest Boys. With my love of the team and the field comes my favorite moments. Here are my top ten favorite moments in the history of the Colorado Rockies.
10. Ubaldo Jimenez’s no-hitter. On April 17, 2010, Ubaldo Jimenez pitched a no-hitter versus the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field in Atlanta, Georgia. The Colorado Rockies won 4-0, while Jimenez struck out seven players and walked four players. It took him 128 pitches to master the feat. To this day, it is the only no-hitter in franchise history. As a result of this, Jimenez earned the honor of National League Pitcher of the Month. What a game!
9. Tony Wolters’ Wild Card-winning single. I remember this fondly and it was wonderful. The 2018 Wild Card game on Tuesday, October 2, 2018, was the wildest game I’ve seen in my life. I was so overly passionate about it that not only was I stressing over gameplay, but I felt too sick to my stomach to eat my dinner and my ear was hurting. In the 13th inning of the dramatic game, Tony Wolters hit to first base, scoring Trevor Story. In the end, the Rockies won the longest Wild Card game to date. Tony deserves kudos forever.
8. Ian Desmond’s grand slam against San Diego 2017. Ian “Desi” Desmond hurt his hand and spent much of April 2017 recovering from the injury. During a Sunday, June 3, 2017, game against the San Diego Padres, Desi hit a four-run home run, known as a grand slam, off of Padres pitcher José Torres. He’d been having a rough start to the year, with a .272 batting average over 31 games. A big play, such as a grand slam, seems like just the perfect way to lift your spirits and boost your confidence.
7. Trevor Story’s Major League Baseball debut. Trevor Story has had a storybook start to his career (no pun intended!). On April 4, 2016, he hit two home runs off of Zack Greinke. This was the first time since Jeff Baker in 2005 that a Rockies player hit two home runs in his Opening Day Major League Baseball debut. Then-Rockies manager Walt Weiss praised Trevor’s debut. I agree with that praise. I have seen many amazing plays from Trevor during his career and I only see things going up for him.
6. Carlos Gonzalez’s walk-off cycle. The date was July 31, 2010. In the eighth inning of the game, the Colorado Rockies had a 5-2 lead over the Chicago Cubs. A game-tying three run home run by then-Cubs player Derek Lee changed the entire course of the game. Carlos “Cargo” Gonzalez saw an opportunity. He had already hit to first, second, and third bases in the game, and he just needed a home run to complete the feat.
All Cargo needed was one pitch, and he won the game for the Rockies. He had hit a home run and to all bases in the same game. It was the first time a player had hit a home run to complete the cycle since Dwight Evans in 1984. This is one of the reasons Carlos Gonzalez is one of my favorite players in the sport.
5. Charlie Blackmon’s cycle. Game 162, September 30, 2018. Charlie “Chuck” Blackmon had already hit to third base in the first inning, two home runs in the third inning, and to first base in the fifth inning. He didn’t realize until the seventh inning that he was a double short of hitting for the cycle. Then came the eighth inning. He hit to second base, and just like that, history was made. Chuck was the first player to ever hit for the cycle in the 162nd regular season game. It was the 18th cycle at Coors Field (the most cycles in any singular ballpark), and the first cycle against the Washington Nationals. The moment was so amazing I had to take to Instagram to express my joy. Charlie will forever be one of my favorite baseball players.
4. Clint Barmes’ 2005 Opening Day walk-off home run. I remember following along to this game on the Colorado Rockies Facebook page in March. It was a lot of fun to listen to. The victory came off of beloved San Diego Padres closer Trevor Hoffman. Mr. Barmes was the first Colorado Rockies rookie to hit a walk-off home run during the home opener, and won Rookie of the Month. The victory was part of the Rockies Stay-At-Home-Opener, too. I Tweeted along to the re-broadcasts in both March and April. I am a Clint Barmes fan for life!
3. Dante Bichette’s walk-off home run during the first ever game at Coors Field. It was sweet as sugar for the Colorado Rockies to include this 14th-inning gem in their Stay-At-Home Opener! It was a late night game on April 27, 1995, getting close to Denver’s curfew. With the help of teammates such as Joe Girardi (yes, the Joe Girardi, former New York Yankees manager and current Philadelphia Phillies manager), Dante managed to lift the Rockies to an 11-9 victory over the New York Mets, the first game at Coors Field becoming the first win at Coors Field. I believe this sets an amazing example for his sons Dante Jr. and Bo, especially since Bo now plays Major League Baseball himself for the Toronto Blue Jays.
2. Four-game sweep of the Los Angeles Dodgers in California for the first time since 1993. During the weekend of September 7-10, 2017, the Colorado Rockies were in Los Angeles, who had the best record in the majors. Los Angeles was already on a losing streak, and the Rockies had already won three of the four games. Colorado spent much of the game leading 2-0, then broke the game wide open in the eighth inning. DJ LeMahieu singled off of Walker Buehler, followed by walks from Nolan Arenado and Trevor Story. Buehler then gave up a left-field grand slam to Mark Reynolds.
Arenado and story hit their own solo home runs, and the only Dodgers run came in the bottom of the ninth, but they couldn’t come back. The Rockies swept the Dodgers in California for the first time since 2007, and in four games in California for the first time since 1993. I will always prefer the Rockies to the Dodgers, and I was beyond satisfied with the outcome of the series.
1. Nolan Arenado’s Father’s Day walk-off cycle. Another magical memory from 2017, this time from Father’s Day, June 18, 2017. I hold this memory near and dear to my heart. After Jake McGee had a rough outing in the top of the ninth, the Rockies decided it was time to get the rally party going. After Raimel Tapia’s single, Charlie Blackmon and DJ LeMahieu singled to cut San Francisco’s lead to 5-4. Two runners on base.
Nolan Arenado seals the deal. Home run. End game. He has hit to first, second, and third bases, and his home run made it a four-game sweep of Sand Francisco, his first career cycle, and the Rockies Taco Special for the next day confirmed! Of course, as soon as I came home from a Father’s Day meal with my family, I took to Facebook to congratulate him. I wish I got to experience that in real live time.
HONORABLE MENTION: Charlie Blackmon’s walk-off solo home run against the Houston Astros. Unpopular opinion: Extra-inning ball games are not fun, they are brutal, stressful, and irritating. That’s the reality I was facing when I attended the Colorado Rockies-Houston Astros game on July 25, 2018. The game was tied at two runs apiece in the bottom of the ninth. With the way the game was going, from a home-run to error scores and a wild game-tying play, it was possible the game would go to extras. I was a little bit of an emotional wreck. It was getting a little chilly, especially with the rain. I also saw spectator interference that cost Alex Bregman of Houston a triple. I just wanted it all to stop.
Enter the bottom of the ninth inning. Charlie Blackmon hit a walk-off home run, which was his first of his career, and won the game. It was really amazing, especially since his error cost the Rockies the night before. I screamed like a banshee in the stands at that win! I would have put it my top ten but there were so many amazing plays from the entire history of the team.
I am a Rockies fan today, tomorrow, for all eternity. Let’s go Rockies!