The westernmost park I’ve ever visited. My one night there, I watched Aaron Cook throw a 79-pitch, four-hit, no-walk shutout against the Padres in a nifty one hour, 58 minutes. I haven’t been paying attention: Does it still play as such a severe pitcher’s park?
Truthfully, it’s behind only PNC on my personal favorite list. Just a beautiful place in a really nice setting. And that’s something coming from me, as I don’t like spending time west of the Mississippi, or south of the Ohio. I’m weird like that.
Coors, of course, is one of those rare corporate names that truly feels right for a number of reasons. Can we improve on a park named after the world’s best beer-flavored water? Based on its inclusion in By Acclimation Week, I’m not sure we’re going to try.
Tomorrow: The Birds’ Nest
Name: Coors Field, 1995-present.
Other ballparks used by club in its current city: Mile High Stadium 1993-94.
Distinctive Features: the Rockpile bleachers in the outfield just beyond the Rocky Mountain themed landscaping; the purple ring of seats on the 20th row of the upper deck, signifying one mile above sea level; Blue Moon Brewery at The Sandlot.
During construction of the park, workers discovered several dinosaur fossils on the grounds, including a triceratops skull. The club honored that find by choosing a triceratops as its mascot, Dinger.
On Oct. 1, 1995, the Rocks outlasted the Giants 10-9 in a typical Coors Field slugfest to claim the NL wildcard, becoming the fastest expansion team to reach the playoffs in ML history (a mark later broken by their rivals to the southwest).
On May 5, 2002, in a game against the visiting Dodgers, the Rockies dabbled in PDD* with the launch of the humidor. Three years later, Jason Jennings blanked the visiting Padres for the first 1-0 victory in park history, more than 10 years after the maiden game was played there.
On Oct. 1, 2007, Matt Holliday may or may not have slid home safely with the winning run in a one-game playoff with San Diego, culminating one of the all-time great closing runs in baseball history. The Rockies would keep the momentum for the following fortnight, sweeping the Phillies and Diamondbacks to reach their only World Series.
In 2016, Ichiro Suzuki collected his 3,000th hit with a seventh-inning triple off Rockies pitcher Chris Rusin. We can only hope that a Peyton Manning celebratory text went unreturned.
*Power Dampening Device