2010 Regular Season: Colorado Rockies hosted the Chicago Cubs in this final game of a three-game series. The home team was looking for a sweep on this early Sunday afternoon. When in Denver, it may take some time for you to physically adjust to the thin air. City of Denver is a mile above sea level (Mile High City). A light-headed feeling and being short winded can potentially slow down any ambitious travel plans. It may have also affected Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Carlos Silva who left the game in the first inning and was taken to a local hospital with an abnormal heart rate. He returned to normal and was kept at the hospital overnight for observation. Aside from the change in oxygen and pressure, it was a beautiful sunny day for a ball game.
Coors Field is home of the Rockies since 1995. Before that, they played in Mile High Stadium which was also home of the NFL Denver Broncos from 1960 to 2000. Mile High Stadium was eventually demolished in 2002. Coors Field opened, way before that demise, in 1995. During construction, dinosaur fossils were found on site. Among the sea of dark green seats in the stadium, Row 20 on the upper deck is lined with purple seats to serve as the one-mile marker above sea level. Apparently its exact.
The Major League Baseball (MLB) collective bargaining agreement of 1985 allowed the National League to expand by two teams. This would equal membership between the AL and the NL. MLB expanded to Colorado Rockies and Florida Marlins in 1993. The original “Rockies” were an NHL team from 1976-82. In 2007, the Colorado Rockies won 20 games in September to force a tie breaker, a seat in the post season, and finally a trip to the 2007 World Series where they faced the Boston Red Sox. Rockies lost it in four games. The final reward should always be to win but coming back from so far behind and so late in the season is a feat all its own.
Another feature unique to Coors Field is a humidor, located somewhere behind home plate, where all game balls are stored. The dry air in high altitude hardens the baseballs, making them fly off the bat for hitters and having less effect on the curve ball for pitchers. The humidor allows for moisture control of game balls to deaden the spring like affect in dry air. After almost ten years of extraordinary offensive numbers, MLB approved the humidor in 2002.
Carlos Gonzalez of the Rockies provided highlights the day before when he hit a home run to win the game and complete a hitting cycle. The first to do so since Dwight Evans did it for the Red Sox in 1984. At the time, Colorado Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki was still face of the Rockies franchise, a protégé from the school of Derek Jeter. In 2015, he was part of a deadline trade with the Toronto Blue Jays. He was informed in the middle of another game with the Cubs, this time in Chicago. For Troy, it was mixed emotions and things were heated between him and the Colorado Rockies’ front office. In this game, Colorado Rockies outfielder Dexter Fowler ran down a line drive hit by Alfonso Soriano in the ninth inning and made a catch that ended with a hard collision against the centerfield wall. It may have saved the game for the Colorado Rockies who won the slugfest 8-7 and completed the three-game sweep. But it cost Dexter Fowler a trip to the Hospital for an MRI. It was negative. Six years later he would be the lead-off hitter in the Chicago Cubs line-up and a catalyst to the that historic 2016 World Series Championship. Among the 2010 Chicago Cubs pitching staff was Carlos Zambrano who made a relief appearance in this game.
Chicago Cubs @ Colorado Rockies
This year, Coors Field became the site of the 2021 All Star Game. In just a few months short notice, it was moved from Atlanta to Denver in a controversial decision that continues to split fan reactions. The game finds itself at the crossroads of many changes. Baseball has always been a reflection of American society and no one will ever be greater than the game. If those truths ever disappear, then that’s when baseball is dead. While they are still evident, the game is just evolving.