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DNVR Exclusive: Similarities abound between 1998 and 2021; Rockies All-Stars reflect on experience

Patrick Lyons Avatar
July 14, 2021

It may have been only 23 years between All-Star Games, but it sure as heck felt like a century since all eyes were firmly focused on Denver for its baseball.

In 1998, it was the Blake Street Bombers – OF Larry Walker, 3B Vinny Castilla and OF Dante Bichette – representing the Colorado Rockies in the Midsummer Classic, leading the National League to a 13-8 victory in the highest scoring contest in the game’s history.

In 2021, it’s RHP Germán Márquez and manager Bud Black, with SS Trevor Story taking part in the Home Run Derby. 

“I’m really pumped about the Derby,” Story said during the NL Media Availability ahead of his 32-homer performance on Monday night, setting a new standard in the exhibition for Rockies’ sluggers.

Marquez, who entered Saturday’s game against the Padres in San Diego with a chance to be named NL starting pitcher, wasn’t worried about an all-or-nothing performance. Regardless, he lowered his season ERA to 3.36 with seven scoreless innings.

“There was probably a chance, but it was their decision and I respect it,” the first-time All-Star said through an interpreter. “Nothing I can do about it.”

While NL manager Dave Roberts went with the veteran Max Scherzer as his starting pitcher, but mentioned Marquez in the discussion when making the decision. Ultimately, Scherzer and the entire Washington Nationals got the short end of the stick following their 2019 World Series Championship due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Jul 12, 2021; Denver, CO, USA; National League pitcher German Marquez of the Colorado Rockies warms up during workouts before the 2021 MLB All Star Home Run Derby. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

The 26-year-old may have benefited from the change in venue more than anyone as a flight, let alone a few hour car ride was needed to arrive at the ballpark. Lucky and grateful were the words that came to mind.

“That’s kind of one of the best parts of having the fan base behind me. Just being at home. That’s pretty exciting. The first one I’m in is here,” punctuating his thought with a smile.

Black, invited by his close friend and rival Roberts to be a member of the coaching staff for the fourth time, was quick to heap praise on his rotation rather than dwell on his 2,000th game as a manager, something that only 61 men in baseball history have ever achieved.

“Márquez is a good one. He’s a well-deserved All-Star this season. And in seasons to come, maybe (he starts the All-Star Game),” before continuing to praise his starters, saying, “As are a few of our other guys who are tremendous pitchers as well.”

For further symmetry between 1998 and 2021, former Rockies’ shortstop Walt Weiss returned with Atlanta in his first season since leaving Colorado in the original edition, a somewhat similar storyline to third baseman Nolan Arenado with St. Louis this year.

The one major difference: the local flair with representation from three native Coloradans. Padres’ Mark Melancon of Golden, Giants’ Kevin Gausman of Aurora and Twins’ Taylor Rogers Littleton were all selected in this latest version of summer’s superstar showdown.


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