USA Today

A Rockies Fan...

April 4, 2016
Categories: 

Tonight, when the Colorado Rockies take the field for their 2016 season opener, my mind will be filled with tons of wonderful memories. I’ll remember April 9, 1993 and sitting at Mile High Stadium with Diane and 80,000 others for the Rockies first home game and Eric Young leading off with a home run. It was one of the most exciting sports days I have ever experienced. I will remember 2007 and being in Greece on vacation with 45 KEZW listener when the Rockies won 11 in a row at seasons end to get into the playoff’s and eventually the World Series. We celebrated every morning at breakfast, 9000 miles away! I will remember going to Spring Training in Tucson in the late 90’s and getting to take batting practice with Clint Hurdle throwing pitches. Diane giggled like a school girl when she got a hit!! But most of all, I will think of my Mom.

May Crandall was the biggest Rockies fan in the world. I don’t know that she ever missed a game, either in person or on the radio or TV. Mom loved going to Coors Field and even paid for a brick on the walkway with her three sons names on it. As her fight with COPD made it more difficult to walk or be out for long periods of time she made herself a little area on the lanai at home where she could sit in the outside air and listen to the games. My Mom taught me how to throw a baseball and for the first 37-years of my life we were Detroit Tiger fans, the city where Mom was born. In 1968 when the Tigers and the Cardinals played their epic 7 game series Mom let me sneak a transistor radio and earphone to school so I could listen to Game 7 in class, which Detroit won 4-1. Once the Rockies came to town Mom switched her allegiance and even when the team was destined for last place, she listened to the last out of the season. On July 1, 2008, Mom watched the Rockies from her hospital bed as Aaron Cook shutout the Padres 4-0. The next day she lapsed into a comma and she passed away a day later. The last game she had seen was a Rockies win. The night she died I walked down the hall by myself trying to gather my thoughts and emotions. I stopped at the window at the end of the hallway and in the distance I could see fireworks exploding over Coors Field. The calendar says it was one of the annual Rockies Fireworks games but you will never convince me it was anything but a tribute to the Rockies biggest fan. The next year they would win 92 games, the most in franchise history. No doubt because they were getting help from above!!!

Sadly now, before this season’s first real pitch has been thrown, it’s popular for the baseball “experts” to hate on the Rockies. Already I’ve seen last place predictions and how it will be the worst pitching staff in the history of the world. “Writers and sportscasters” rant on end about the horrible ownership and how they should be forced to sell the team. Look, we’d all love to win 100 games and be in the playoffs. Most of us would even be happy to finish 500. But how about we just enjoy the start of the season and have some spring optimism for this year? How about we celebrate what’s great about having a major league team, and the experience of being at the ball park? Why can’t we create new memories and fall in love with new players? And how about we teach young people the lessons of the game and share a bond they will remember long after we’re gone, like I remember with my Mom. There’s a lot to like about this team and the young talent on the field and there’s no place like Coors Field to enjoy a game! And when the last out is recorded, we still live in one of the most beautiful places on Earth!

So lay off Dick Monfort, who quietly does so much for this community that goes unmentioned. Give this pitching staff a chance to succeed before you announce they’ve already failed. For now we’re still in the hunt…how about we celebrate that. GO ‪#‎COLORADOROCKIES‬, WELCOME BACK!!!!