Okay, so I had some time to do a litte sketch of a bandwagon. Sue me. But it articulates the point I am trying to make. Coming back from the break, the Rockies are gaining momentum taking down the Padres 10-1. The funny thing is, I don’t think anyone outside of Colorado even recognizes the Rockies are still within reach of the division lead and eight games behind the Dodgers who have the best record in baseball.
That is unless of course you are a Rockies die-hard and have known the mighty defeats and felt the highs of this current turn-around that has lasted over the month of June and into the middle of July.
But along with the continued success, comes the inevitable knock on the Rockies fanbase from national media of how we are bandwagoners. Eh, excuse me I practically own at least a wheel on the damn thing for the contributions I have put into the team from my hard earned money.
I’m ready for it though and I am welcoming all bandwagoners onto the ever increasing popular mode of transportation. In 2007 I had to listen to idiots like Colin Cowherd of ESPN make the point how Rockies fans were a joke and just watching any game you could see the tags hanging from their new hats. We weren’t a baseball town they said. We could care less about our team they said.
It’s true, a lot of the faithful gave up hope in the years after the Rockies made their first playoff visit. They saw management try and fail to bring in worthwhile talent and more retreads came and went then I can count. Money was thrown away like nothing and we became the laughing stock of the baseball world. Maybe not as bad as the current day Nationals, but I took a lot of abuse in those years wearing a Rockies hat.
There was a plan we were told. The Rockies could not afford to bring in tons of high priced talent so we would grow it they said. We had to wait patiently. I remember in 2006 how I could see the makings of some good young players and how excited I became. It ended up being a sub-par year, but I was hopeful. 2007 came and we started out bad again. I can remember sitting in sub-freezing temperatures at the second game of the year at Coors Field and a young rookie name Tulowitzki would help win the game in extra-innings. I saw a glimmer and went to a ton of games that year.
I’ve mentioned how my father and I will always debate who told who the other the “streak” had to happen if we were going to make the playoffs. I say it was me because I remember sitting on the first base line and texting him that we needed to win 21 games and we’d be in. He says he told me and somewhere along the line he did, but I remember exactly when I said it and I say I was first.
No matter, they made it into the playoffs in grand style. Most notably in a 13 inning game I was at and will never forget as long as I live. Probably, one of the best, if not the best game I’ll ever see. I remember that team and how it seemed they were on auto pilot. Nothing could stop them, except time. They had swept the entire NLDS and NLCS and they had too much time to slow down and think about what they had just done. That much time would get into the head of any man. Along came a more experienced and veteran Red Sox team that took full advantage of that weakness like any great competitor would.
In 2009 I saw it so much earlier this time. I got to see what I knew was there the whole time that night in Houston. I watched the boys battle back from embarrassing losses and take one on the way out of town. I watched them sweep the Cardinals in St. Louis, a feat that had not been done in decades I was told. I saw them head into Milwaukee with a swagger I knew they could have all along.
So the national media came, gave them five minutes to point out what they had done and poof. The AL East would still get most of the coverage, but the nation had overlooked a truly remarkable accomplishment. The Rockies had embarked on a streak that had not been seen in over 40 years of baseball, but it got the casual mention.
I’m not heartbroken or even surprised. Major League baseball doesn’t make the type of money a Dodgers-Yankees World Series makes and I understand there are millions more people living in those markets. There is another point that needs to be made too. Those markets also have generations that have grown up with them. Grandfathers who took fathers who took sons who took sons and daughters who continue to take their offspring. The Rockies, for all intensive purposes are just coming into the first generation old enough to bring their children to the ballpark.
You’ve got bloggers like Baby Paul who are prime examples of what is up and coming for the Rockies fan base. I met a guy about my age who had flown his son and he to Milwaukee to catch a single game against the Brewers. This is the future of Rockies baseball in Colorado.
So don’t judge our fanbase because we are young or because many many people will jump on this bandwagon that is ever growing in popularity in our beautiful state. We are fans, we love our team, and if you read any of the many great Rockies bloggers on this site, I think you will take away that feeling. We may not have millions behind us or have celebrities wearing our gear to make a fashion statement, but we have true blooded baseball fans who came together from all teams and histories and unite behind the purple and white.
I said it at the beginning of the season and you can read as far back into my blog as you want. This team will be a team to be reckoned with and the next time you want to knock on the NL West as being the worst division in baseball, look at the stats and see how many Cy Young winners have come from there. You might just gain a little more respect.
The Rockies may get over looked in the media but they don’t care. They aren’t playing for the fame. They are playing for the game and each man behind them. They will win more games and I undoubtedly expect they will be surprising a lot of people come the end of the season. The media will once again give them five minutes as they look to the Dodgers or the Yankees or Red Sox. It’s predictable, but if you are a baseball fan, a real baseball fan who loves the game don’t be afraid to learn a thing or two about this team and these Rockies because they could just make history.
Don’t say I didn’t tell ya so.