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From the beginning, the Rockies have always done Opening Day right.
As the Colorado Rockies come back to Coors Field with a perfect record, the excitement is in the air for the franchise and their fans. Of course, 3-0 isn’t anything to be overly excited about, but even if the Rockies were 0-3, the first game of the season in the Mile High City always brings excitement.
The reality is, the tradition started 22 years ago, when the Rockies landed in Mile High Stadium and kicked off baseball in Colorado, setting the tone for baseball in Colorado for years to come.
The irony is, Major League Baseball didn’t think that the fans would show up in Colorado. They didn’t think the support would be there. They couldn’t have been more wrong. All of these years later, there are very few tickets in town that are more coveted than a ticket to Opening Day.
Back on that day in 1993, fans were overly excited for real baseball. That first year was an awkward learning process for the fans that were used to being rowdy during Broncos games. They cheered at wrong times, they didn’t quite understand the nuances of the game. However, they had a team and they were proud of them.
When the first Rockies batter, Eric Young smacked a 3-2 pitch from Expos starter Kent Bottenfield into the left-centerfield seats, the tone was set for what the Rockies would be for years to come. They suddenly became a team that would live and die by the longball. Fans didn’t know any better. They were just thrilled to have a big league team. For Young to kick off the party with a home run, it was just icing on the cake. After all, baseball fans in Colorado had been anticipating that day for nearly two full years.
That April day in 1993 became the standard for Opening Day in Denver. The record crowd of 80,227, which is still a record, created an atmosphere that remains for the first game of the season 22 years later.
Regardless of what the fans are expecting from their team during the season, Opening Day is a reminder of what the people of Colorado have. They have a Major League Baseball team in their backyard. They have one of the most beautiful parks in the entire game that still looks as new as the day it was built.
In Colorado, the tradition of unfurling a huge flag in center field, while a thousand black and purple balloons are released into the sky as fighter jets fly over the stadium when the Star Spangled Banner is wrapping up puts Coors Field as one of the best places to start a baseball season. That, coupled with the general excitement that usually comes with Opening Day, whether it is Eric Young’s leadoff home run, or Charlie Blackmon’s six hits, or Dante Bichette’s walk-off home run late into the night, Opening Day always seems to bring a different type of excitement in Colorado.
A tip of the hat has to go to the Rockies, who put on quite the party. Coors Field is always well manicured, with green grass mowed perfectly. The stadium itself is in tip-top shape, ready to be used 81 times during the year.
There is so much excitement that goes into Opening Day. It is always a packed house at Coors Field. It is truly the unofficial beginning of spring in Colorado. Friday’s opener shouldn’t be any different. The Rockies will take the field in front of a packed house that is raring to go.
Opening Day in Colorado is one of the best events of the year, and fans are hopeful that it is the beginning of a different season with different results for their ball club.