Before he became just the seventh born-and-raised Coloradan to suit up for the Colorado Rockies, Ty Blach already had a decade of experience in professional baseball.
Drafted out of Creighton University in Omaha, NE in the fifth round of the 2012 MLB Draft, he spent four seasons in the minor leagues before making his big league debut with the San Francisco Giants.
Coincidentally, that first game came not too far from his home in Centennial: Coors Field against the Rockies on Sept. 5, 2016.
Blach would call Oracle Park in San Francisco his home and would pitch with McCovey Cove over his left shoulder on 48 separate occasions over parts of four seasons.
During his time in the City by the Bay, Blach was able to partake in some sightseeing – albeit in several layers of clothes – before moving on to Baltimore and Colorado.
Patrick Lyons: You called San Francisco and Oracle Park your home for a while at the start of your career. What are your favorite memories about that place?
Ty Blach: They always have a great fan base there. They’ve always drawn really well, so it’s always fun. Even the middle of the week you’re gonna have a pretty good crowd. There’s a lot of energy going around there.
Lyons: Even if it’s cold and windy out there?
Blach: It’s definitely gonna be cold. It could be middle of July and you’re gonna want to wear sleeves, it seems like. But that’s just part of it being right on the water. Gorgeous views from there.
Lyons: Did you ever overheat? Or do you just pile the layers on and you worry about it later?
Blach: Exactly. Pile the layers on and then if you don’t need them, you don’t need them. It’s easier to be warm and cool off than it is to try to get warm.
Lyons: Obviously there’s not too many off-days during the season. But were you able to see the sights of SanFran at all?
Blach: Over the couple years that I was there, I was able to explore different areas. Go see some of the parks around, the different monuments, the Golden Gate Bridge and all that kind of stuff. It’s always neat to be able to see different areas, try different restaurants. A lot of cool areas in the city.
Lyons: The big one is Alcatraz. Did you ever go out to the former prison?
Blach: Yeah. Went out to Alcatraz one day. That was fun. We did that on an off day and just kind of experienced that.
Lyons: Was it a team event? That would have been wild.
Blach: It was just me and some family that went out there one day.
Lyons: Is that a whole day thing or just a couple hours?
Blach: It’s just a couple hours. You get on a boat, you drive out there and you walk around for a few hours. Do a little guided tour and then hop back on the boat and come back over.
Lyons: That was a pretty scary federal penitentiary. Was it eerie in there?
Blach: It was cool. I thought there was a lot of really interesting information. I didn’t think it was too creepy, but you could definitely understand what those prisoners went through and they portrayed it very well.