So Christmas morning there I am, pretty much useless to the world, sprawled on mom’s couch. It’s not unusual for pop to come over and take the remote and start fiddling with the tv, even if someone else is watching it! But today he popped in a vhs tape and I knew something was coming on. And there it was…the Colorado Rockies first game April 5, 1993 in Queens NY.
It was like watching a game again for the first time and I was excited seeing all the old faces and even the Mets take the field. Doc Gooden was on the mound and I remembered the ’86 Mets and how I could rattle off anyone from that team. Bobby Bo was in the outfield and I remembered how NY fans would ride in him in the outfield chanting “bobbbby, bobbby.” The old boys were back and they were taking on my new Colorado Rockies.
Strike. Doc’s first pitch and the start of a brand new franchise. Look at how young Don Baylor
looked. There was Alex Cole and I could think of how he reminded me of “Willie Mayes Hayes” from Major League because he was a speedster and tall and skinny. Dante Bichette with his “unkept” look and Charlie Hayes! I had been at a game where Charlie had been hit in the face with a pitch and I wanted to say, “in a future game you need to duck man.” Eric Young looked so young and you could really see where his son, now a top Rockies prospect, took his looks from.
Now I know most reading this are saying, “who?” I know, I know, it’s just the expansion Colorado Rockies in a mid-level communications market who don’t get a lot of national press, but there they were.
I thought how awesome it is to be able to watch the first game of a franchise again with new
eyes, older eyes and remember what it was like to watch it as a kid. You can’t go back in time and put on a tape of the RedSox or Yankees or Cubs first games and they have such long cherished history, but I could take it all in and watch this fledgling team get it’s start.
I wasn’t alive in ’62 when the Mets started but I rooted for them my whole life even in Colorado. Everyone, even if you lived in Colorado your whole life, you had to cheer for some other team in the nation. There are a lot of Cubs fans here because WGN was like this “roach” channel that was everywhere. So of course all you got to see was Cubs games. Of course Yankee fans too because they span the nation. Lots of Dodger fans from the great California invasion to Colorado. That all could stop though. We would all have to call our allegience into question on April 5, 1993.
We now had the Colorado Rockies. They were ours and win or lose we had a team. I’m not sure if you find it in a lot of other stadiums across the nation but I see a good amount of “half-jerseys” at Coors. Half the jersey Rockies the other some other team with a seam sewn right down the middle. There are times when I go to see the Rockies and Mets play and I root root for the ROCKIES and if they don’t win it’s a shame, but I don’t go home terribly mad because if anyone had to beat ’em it’s better it was the Mets.
It’s been great watching the Rockies grow and being a part of it. I’ll never forget being at the historical play in game or dancing in the stadium as we won our first division series then standing there with camera in hand taking pictures of the first pennant flag being raised. I know we get little press and attention but none of that really matters.
If you are wondering what my title meant it’s from the many many commercials that were playing. The ’80s looking beer girl walking out with her big blonde hair bringing cold refreshing Coors out as the jingle kept telling me to “bring the beer that brought baseball here.” Ah advertising. Now if only the beer that brought baseball here could lower their price a bit so I’m not broke by the 5th inning.
But that was part of the pagentry. All of it. The first pitch, strike, out all was part of history that I was glad to see again. Right after the first game at Shea on the tape came the first game at Mile-High because obviously Coors Field was not built yet. There again Eric Young with a lead-off home run and stolen base. Cole stealing, Dante back to the wall, Rockies up 5-0 and I began to think of the upcoming season and I fell asleep. I later woke up to a full day of John Wayne on tv, not a bad way to spend some tube time either!