It’s hard to fathom its already been four years since “Rocktober” fever engulfed the city of Denver, Colorado. All of Blake Street had a smile of their face, as an entire city was collectively transfixed on the little team that could. The Colorado Rockies went on a roll for the ages, one that will be etched into the history books forever. And now, unfortunately, the Rockies are back in the basement of the National League West, finishing the year several games below .500, and playing like the mediocre Rockies teams of years past.
But we should not wallow in the sorrow of this season’s misfortunes, whether it be the glaring pitching issues, nagging injuries, or abysmal hitting with runner’s in scoring position. I know we live in a “what have you done for me lately” society, but a little bit of reminiscing can never hurt. So take a moment to turn back your mental clock, and reflect on the amazing run the Rockies made last October. Even without the help of Denzel Washington urging us along, let us – Remember The Rockies.
Remember when the Rockies won 21 of 22 games, bulldozed their way through the playoffs, and gained a birth in the Fall Classic. It was the first Rockies playoff appearance in 10 plus years, and the first time the Rockies had ever won a national league pennant. In the sport of baseball, a 5 game winning streak is impressive. But 21 of 22?! That’s preposterous. An 11-game winning streak. One loss. And then a 10 game win streak. All in the thick of a playoff push. It was mind-boggling. The Rockies, a team historically associated with losing, could not be beat.
Remember when Todd Helton blasted that walk-off home run to beat the Dodgers during the beginning of the epic run? (It was the 3rdvictory of the first win streak.) Many feel that resounding walk-off bomb became the catalyst for the entire streak. I would concur. It was also a special moment, because Denver saw a rare display of unbridled emotion from Father Todd. It seemed as though a volcano of playing for an unsuccessful team for 11 years erupted, as he hurled his helmet into the air and did a superman jump into the arms of his teammates at home plate.
Remember the Rockies vs. Padres play in game? I do vividly. I was there. And I can honestly say I don’t think I will ever go to a better baseball game for the rest of my life. The 163rd game of the year. Win and you’re in the playoffs. Lose and golf season starts early. The exhilaration and excitement that I experienced during that game was indescribable. The atmosphere was beyond electric. It was nuclear. The game was a 13 – inning masterpiece. It had everything. Multiple home runs, clutch defense, questionable umpiring, inning ending double plays, timely strike outs, and an eye-popping finish. Down by two in the bottom of the 13th, all the Rockies had to do was get three runs off the all-time saves leader (at the time) in the history of baseball, Trevor Hoffman. And they did. After Matt Holiday was called safe at the wild play at the plate, the entire stadium went completely bonkers. I freaked out, screamed at the top of my lungs, and hugged everyone in sight. The Rockies were back in the playoffs, in dramatic, spectacular fashion.
Remember Kaz Matsui’s grand slam against the Phillies in the first round of the playoffs? Unbelievable homerun. It was only the fourth homerun of the entire season for Kaz. and it completely demoralized Philadelphia. It wasn’t a wimpy homerun either. Matsui crushed the ball almost all the way back his homeland of Japan. (Slight exaggeration, but it did land at least 20 rows up in right field.) After that shot, Philadelphia had no shot, and the Rox swept them just a few days later.
Remember the last out of the National League Championship Series against the Arizona Diamondbacks? Eric Byrnes, unsuccessfully sliding headfirst into first base, only to be thrown out by a rocket from Troy Tulowitski. The same Eric Byrnes, I would like to point out, who proclaimed that the Rockies “weren’t even that good,” even though the Diamondbacks failed to win a game in the series. Good one Byrnsie. He is now appropriately booed every time he sets foot in Coors Field. The last out also led to the indelible image of Todd Helton thrusting his arms into the air, realizing his Rockies were going to the World Series.
Remember when the Rockies got swept by the Red Sox in the World Series? That was a bummer. We’re focusing on the good in this walk down memory lane though. Not the bad. I was crushed the Red Sox dominated us in the World Series. But the fact the Rockies were actually in the World Series was an amazing accomplishment. If someone would have told me at the beginning of the season the Rockies were going to win a pennant, I would have pointed you in the direction of the nearest mental asylum. But it was the Rockies who ended up going crazy, refusing to lose in the Fall of 2007, putting on a show that all Rockies fans will remember forever.
-By Zach Cohn