The 20 greatest moments in Colorado Rockies history
If mediocrity was a woman, she would have a restraining order on the current Rockies team. The only thing notable about this team is that Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez are both battling nagging injuries. So why not look back on the good times?
On the twentieth anniversary of Major League Baseball's awarding Denver a professional baseball team, we chronicle the twenty greatest moments in franchise history.
20. Rockies' first win: On March 6, 1993, the Rockies won their first Spring Training game against the San Francisco Giants, 7-2. David Nied struck out Barry Bonds to work out of a jam, marking the height of the "Nied for speed" era -- a disappointment considering that Nied was the first pick in the Rockies' expansion draft.
19. First no-hitter in Coors Field: Unfortunately, it was thrown by the Los Angeles Dodgers' Hideo Nomo on September 17, 1996. It was the second no-no thrown against the Rockies in the season. Colorado became the first Major League team to get no-hit twice and still win the club batting title in the same season. Hell, yeah!
18. Rockies promote Tim Ireland to Pacific Rim coordinator: Who doesn't remember where they were on January 4, 1999, when Ireland was named the point man in the franchise's Far East scouting? This earns the title of "Least notable moment on the Rockies franchise timeline," which counts "Present" as 2006.
17. Denver hosts the 1998 All-Star festivities: The All-Star game would be the highest-scoring in history, as the American League prevailed 13-8. Mark McGwire blasted a ball 510 feet off a billboard in center field during the home-run derby. Holy crap, I miss steroids.
16. Jim Leyland announces resignation: The manager held a pre-game meeting on September 6, 1999, and told his players he would resign at season's end in order to spend more time with his family. In a sign that he either hates his family or was desperate to get away from a team that finished 28 games out of first place, he has been managing the Detroit Tigers since 2006.
15. Todd Helton eclipses a .400 batting average: On August 21, 2000, Helton had two hits in his first three at-bats against Atlanta at home and brought his season batting average to .400 before finishing the night at .398. It was the latest in a season a player had reached that mark since George Brett did so on Sept. 4, 1980. Helton finished the season leading the National League with a .372 average.
14. Rockies notch their millionth customer: On Mothers Day, 1993, Lydia McKee, a mother of two, became the one millionth fan through the gates at Mile High Stadium. The Rockies reached this mark in just seventeen home games, breaking the previous record held by the 1992 Toronto Blue Jays, proving again that Canada is our bitch.
13. Rockies spend a shitload of money: In the 2011 off-season, the Rockies broke character and dished out almost $250 million in extensions for Tulowitzki, Gonzalez and Jorge De La Rosa. All three are currently injured, with De La Rosa done for the year and needing Tommy John surgery. Tulo and Cargo also started the season slow and are underachieving per their standards. But it was really exciting when the Rockies made it rain several months ago.
12. Larry Walker wins 1997 NL MVP: The right-fielder became the first Rockies player to win the award and was voted first on 22 of the 28 ballots submitted. He led the league with 49 home runs, hit .366 and won a Gold Glove. He was also the first Canadian to win the MVP. Wait, who cares about Canada? It's our bitch.
11. Clint Barmes fractures his left collarbone while carrying deer meat: While leading NL rookies in most offensive categories, Barmes fell while carrying a package of deer meat he got from Helton. Barmes ended up missing 78 games in 2005, which the Rockies might as well refer to as "The year of the injury." Barmes is now mentioned anytime a player injures himself doing something stupid.