The indelible mark on our memories is left oftentimes by the sheer rarity of an event or the magnitude of a result.
LoDo legends such as Carlos González and Nolan Arenado have their share of heartwarming efforts, but reflecting upon their best single-game performance comes down to their highlight-making cycles in 2010 and on Father’s Day in 2017, respectively.
It was both the act of accomplishing something so rare – only nine cycles have been achieved by Rockies players – and the fashion with which he did so: a walk-off home run.
For Todd Hollandsworth, his performance in 2001 should be in the upper pantheon of memorable games; however, he is a forgotten footnote in franchise history.
Simple statistics can aid in compounding the order to rank the relative impressiveness of his three-homer game: such occurrence has only happened 17 times for Colorado.
For good measure, he added a flair for fashion, too.
Before injuries cut short the season for the former NL Rookie of the Year, Hollandsworth was having a career season in 2001. On this day, he struggled to get started after striking out his first two at bats against Arizona’s Curt Schilling.
By the end of the afternoon, he’d match their entirety of the Diamondback’s offense and put the final nail in the coffin, too.
Hollandsworth hit an opposite field two-run homer to left off Schilling to shrink Arizona’s lead in the sixth, 5-4. In the eighth, it was a long ball to right field off Greg Swindell to help Colorado pull ahead 7-5 on his second two-run jack.
Finally, in the bottom of the ninth against closer Matt Mantei with the score tied 7-7 and two runners on base, Hollandsworth mashed one to the deepest part of the park just right of center field for the walk-off winner.
His three homers made him only the seventh man to that point to hit the trifecta in purple, joining Andrés Galarraga, Walker (twice), Lansing, Vinny Castilla, Todd Helton, and Jeff Cirillo.
Most Exciting Play In Baseball
With a lineup featuring three future Colorado Rockies players (Mike Lansing, Larry Walker and Jeff Fassero), the Montréal Expos lost 9-2 at Mile High Stadium.
Recent offseason acquisition Ellis Burks stepped to the dish with a runner on second base in a 3-2 ballgame in the bottom of the sixth. He lofted a fly ball off Fassero down the right field line, kicking around enough that the seven-time Gold Glove Award winner Walker couldn’t make a play to prevent Burks recording the first inside-the-park home run in Rockies history.
Eric Young Sr. would also have his exciting moment at Mile High during the 1994 season, but it wouldn’t be until the second season of Coors Field that someone would accomplish this feat at 20th and Blake. Once again, the franchise first was achieved by Ellis Burks.
Shut It Down
While the Rockies have had numerous shutouts in their 27 year history, only 32 have been of the complete game variety. Coincidentally, two have actually occurred on this date.
Jhoulys Chacín twirled a six-hitter against the Cubs at Coors Field in 2011 and Tyler Chatwood tossed a two-hitter at AT&T Park against the Giants in 2017.
The last player to wear the number 42 for the Colorado Rockies is actually the only player to wear it: Armando Reynoso (1993-1996). During the 1997 season, coach Jackie Moore also wore the number.
On This Date in Baseball History
In a ceremony including Rachel Robinson and President Clinton in 1997, Commissioner Bud Selig announces Jackie Robinson’s number 42 will be retired throughout Major League Baseball.
MLB officially begins the tradition of Jackie Robinson Day in 2004.
In 2005, the Dodgers wear replicas of the 1947 road uniforms worn by Brooklyn to commemorate the 58th anniversary of Robinson’s first game in the big leagues.
Yankees’ shortstop Derek Jeter and other players wear Robinson’s number 42 on the 60th anniversary of his historic breaking the color barrier in baseball back in 2007.