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Colorado Rockies

(Colorado Rockies)









Colorado Rockies

(Colorado Rockies)



Season Recap: After more than two decades trying to figure out how to pitch in their own ballpark, the Rockies found the right formula in 2017 and won 87 games. Their entire starting staff was between 22 and 27 and they simply reared back dared opposing batters to hit their best stuff. The offense was excellent as usual, with 30-homer seasons from Mark Reynolds, Charlie Blackmon, and Nolan Arenado. DJ LeMahieu, Jonathan Lucroy, and Gerardo Parra chipped in with .300 averages.

September 29, 2017: Charlie Blackmon set a new record for RBIs by a leadoff hitter when he drove in his 101st run of the season with a home run against the Dodgers.

June 1, 2017: Charlie Blackmon was named NL Player of the Month for May. He had the most hits and triples in the league that month.

November 1, 2016: The Rockies were baseball’s most feared power-hitting team, with Nolan Arenado, Carlos Gonzalez, Charlie Blackmon, and Trevor Story combining to smash 122 home runs. A wrist injury ended Story’s great rookie year before he played his 100th game, but another rookie, David Dahl, picked up the slack with a solid August and September. The team’s starting pitchers were better than expected, but the bullpen was a major weak point. At season’s end, Colorado’s record was a so-so 75–87.

October 5, 2016: The Rockies showed in 2016 that they are ready to compete in the NL West. Trevor Story was on pace for 40 homers and 100 RBIs before hurting his thumb. Nolan Arenado, Charlie Blackmon, and Carlos Gonzalez combined for 95 homers and 315 RBIs. Colorado’s starting pitchers also showed flashes of brilliance, especially Jon Gray, Chad Bettis, Tyler Anderson, and Tyler Chatwood.

September 17, 2016: Jon Gray set a club record with 16 strikeouts against the San Diego Padres.

August 11, 2016: Rookie David Dahl started his big-league career with a 17-game hitting streak. He tied the record set in 1941 by Chuck Aleno.

April 8, 2016: Rookie shortstop Trevor Story became the first player in history to hit homers in each of his first four big-league games.

October 14, 2015: The Rockies boasted two 40-home run hitters in Carlos Gonzalez and Nolan Arenado, who led the NL with 42 homers, 354 total bases, and 130 RBIs. Unfortunately, Colorado could not catch the division-leading Dodgers, and made the decision to part ways with longtime star Troy Tulowitzki, who was traded to the Blue Jays in July.

October 4, 2015: Nolan Arenado tied with Bryce Harper for the NL home run crown with 42.

April 5, 2015: The recipe for success in Colorado hasn’t changed over the years. If Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez stay healthy and the starting pitchers keep games close, the Rockies are a dangerous team. The fans in Denver are expecting big years from Corey Dickerson and Nolan Arenado. They could turn out to be the difference-makers.

November 15, 2014: Two Rockies won NL Gold Glove awards—third baseman Nolan Arenado and second baseman D.J. LeMahieu.

November 1, 2014: The Rockies had the talent to compete with the Giants and Dodgers in the NL West, but injuries to their two stars—Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez—led to a disappointing season. Colorado did get breakout years from outfielders Charlie Blackmon and Corey Dickerson, and amazing comeback performances from free agent Justin Morneau and veteran starter Jorge de la Rosa.

September 28, 2014: Justin Morneau finished the year with a .319 average to lead the National League. He was the 7th different Colorado player to win the batting crown since the team joined the league in 1993.

May 8, 2014: Nolan Arenado singled against the Rangers to set a team record with hits in 28 straight games. The previous record was held by Michael Cuddyer.

March 31, 2014: The Rockies have a fearsome middle of the lineup, with batting champion Michael Cuddyer and sluggers Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez. All three are MVP candidates, but all three have also lost a lot of games to injury in the past. If they stay healthy and productive—and if the Rockies' young pitchers come through—they could be a very dangerous team.

October 1, 2013: The Rockies lived and died with their three outfielders in 2013. Dexter Fowler, Carlos Gonzalez, and Michael Cuddyer got off to hot starts, but all three were eventually slowed by injuries. Cuddyer was the only one to fully recover—and led the NL with a .331 average. But without Fowler and CarGo at full strength, the team was unable to put together one of its famous late-season runs. That was a shame, because the pitching staff—led by Jhoulys Chacin, Jorde de la Rosa, Tyler Chatwood, and Rex Brothers—was getting the job done.

September 29, 2013: Michael Cuddyer won the NL batting title with a .331 average. He became the sixth Colorado player to lead the league, joining Andres Galarraga, Todd Helton, Larry Walker, Matt Holliday and Carlos Gonzalez.

September 1, 2013: Todd Helton cracked a double against the Reds for hit # 2,500 of his career. Only 95 other players in history had reached this mark.

March 30, 2013: Healthy pitchers will make all the difference for the Rockies in 2013. Last year, Jhoulys Chacin, Juan Nicasio, and Jorge de la Rosa tried to pitch through injuries. The result was a lost season for Colorado. This year all three begin the year in good condition. If they get help from Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez—who were also hurt in 2012—the team could challenge for the NL West crown.

October 3, 2012: Injuries to team leaders Todd Helton, Carlos Gonzalez, and Troy Tulowitzki ruined a season of hope for the Rockies. Without a high-scoring offense, young pitchers like Drew Pomeranz, Alex White, and Christian Friedrich had to be almost perfect to win the few games they did. With a return to full strength on the hitting side, these same pitchers will be counted on to up their game in 2013.

April, 17, 2012: Jamie Moyer defeated the San Diego Padres to become the oldest pitcher to win a big-league game. Moyer was 49 years and 151 days old. He broke the record set by Jack Quinn in 1932.

March, 2012: Rafael Betancourt saved seven games in the final seven weeks of the 2011 season, so it looks like he will get the chance to become the Rockies' closer when 2012 begins. There are a couple of other hard throwers in the Colorado bullpen, including Rex Brothers and Matt Belisle. Meanwhile, Alex White and Drew Pomeranz will be trying to make the team's starting rotation. They were the pitchers who the Rockies received after trading Ubaldo Jimenez in 2011.



Juan Pierre
Did you know that Juan Pierre was named after Juan Marichal, the Hall of Fame pitcher? (Author's Collection)







Garrett Atkins

Garrett Atkins was some hitter when he joined the Rockies. In 2007, he had an amazing second-half that helped Colorado win the pennant. (The Upper Deck Co.)


Juan Pierre — Outfielder
Born: 8/14/1977
Played for Team: 2000 to 2002
Juan Pierre broke into the big leagues with Colorado and almost immediately became the NL's greatest base-stealing threat. He led the league with 46 stolen bases in his first full year with the team and was second in hits, with 202.

Eric Young — Second Baseman
Born: 5/18/1967
Played for Team: 1993 to 1997
Eric Young was unstoppable on the basepaths for the Rockies. In a 1996 game against the Los Angeles Dodgers, he stole second, third, and home in the same inning. Young batted .324 that year and made the All-Star team.

Pedro Astacio — Pitcher
Born: 11/28/1968
Played for Team: 1997 to 2001
Pedro Astacio was the team's best pitcher in its early years. He was not afraid to challenge hitters. He gave up a lot of home runs, but he also won a lot of games for the Rockies.

Jose Jimenez — Pitcher
Born: 7/7/1973
Played for Team: 2000 to 2003
The Rockies traded two of their best pitchers—Darryl Kile and Dave Veres—for Jose Jimenez, hoping to make him their closer. Jimenez made Colorado look smart. During his four years with the Rockies he saved 102 games, including 41 in 2002.

Brian Fuentes — Pitcher
Born: 8/9/1975
Played for Team: 2002 to 2008
Brian Fuentes became the closer for the Rockies in 2005 and was the first Colorado reliever to be picked for the All-Star Game. He was an All-Star again in 2006 and 2007. In all, Fuentes saved 115 games for the Rockies.

Garrett Atkins — Third Baseman
Born: 12/12/1979
Played for Team: 2003 to 2009
Garrett Atkins was a great hitter in college baseball. He continued to hit well after being drafted by the Rockies. In 2005, he led the club in RBIs as a rookie. Over the next three seasons he drove in 330 runs.

Jeff Francis — Pitcher
Born: 1/8/1981
Played for Team: 2004 to 2010
Long and lanky Jeff Francis had good control and a great curveball. He hid the ball well when he threw both pitches, making them very hard to hit. In 2007, Francis became the first Canadian-born pitcher ever to start and win a playoff game.

Matt Holliday
Look out, Mr. Camera Man—Matt Holliday is swinging a mean bat! (Black Book Partners)

From 1995 to 1997, a different Rockie won the home run crown each season. It was the first time in history three different players from the same club won the championship three years in a row.

Eric Young was the leadoff batter for the Rockies in their very first home game. He started the team off with a bang when he drove a pitch over the left field fence in his first at bat.

When Matt Holliday competed in the Home Run Derby at the 2007 All-Star Game, he got to choose his own pitcher. He selected his brother, Josh.

John Vander Wal had a dream season for the Rockies in 1995. He came off the bench to set a record with 28 pinch-hits that year.

In 1996, the Rockies became the first team to hit 200 home runs and steal 200 bases in the same season. Andres Galarraga (47), Ellis Burks (40), Vinny Castilla (40), and Dante Bichette (31) led the club in home runs. Eric Young (53), Burks (32), and Bichette (31), led the team in steals.

Andres Galarraga

Andres Galarraga signed the back of this magazine in 1993. It shows him running the bases, which wasn't easy considering he had bad knees. (Beckett Publishing)


Preston Wilson

Preston Wilson was the nephew and stepson of Mookie Wilson, the New York Mets' star of the 1980s. Mookie's brother was Preston's father, but Preston's mother married Mookie instead. Got all that? (Author's Collection)


Home Runs
1995 — Dante Bichette — 40
1996 — Andres Galarraga — 47
1997 — Larry Walker — 49
2015 — Nolan Arenado — 42* 
2016 — Nolan Arenado — 41*      

* Tied with another player

Batting Average
1993 — Andres Galarraga — .370
1998 — Larry Walker — .363
1999 — Larry Walker — .379
2000 — Todd Helton — .372
2001 — Larry Walker — .350
2007 — Matt Holliday — .340
2010 — Carlos Gonzalez — .336
2013 — Michael Cuddyer — .331
2014 — Justin Morneau — .319
2016 — DJ LeMahieu —.348
2017 — Charlie Blackmon —.331

Runs Batted In
1995 — Dante Bichette — 128
1996 — Andres Galarraga — 150
1997 — Andres Galarraga — 140
2000 — Todd Helton — 147
2003 — Preston Wilson — 141
2004 — Vinny Castilla — 131
2007 — Matt Holliday — 137
2015 — Nolan Arenado — 130
2016 — Nolan Arenado — 133

Stolen Bases
1996 — Eric Young — 53
2001 — Juan Pierre — 46
2008 — Willy Taveras — 68

No Rockies pitcher has led the league in wins.

No Rockies pitcher has led the league in strikeouts.

Earned Run Average
No Rockies pitcher has led the league in ERA.

2007 Boston Red Sox Lost 4–0
© 2012-17 by Norwood House Press. Team Spirit® is a registered trademark of Norwood House Press.