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Entering their 22nd season of play, the Colorado Rockies had written the names of only two men onto the Opening Day lineup card at first base: Andrés Galarraga and Todd Helton.
When Colorado signed Justin Morneau, few imagined the 33-year-old who suffered from lingering complications surrounding a concussion would be able to rebound and carry the torch of All-Stars.
Donning fellow Canadian and one-time MVP Larry Walker’s number 33, Morneau would be named to the 2014 All-Star Game hosted by the club with which he had spent 11 seasons, the Minnesota Twins.
Batting .325 with just one homer and three runs batted in, the British Columbia native started the third week of the season slowly, going 1-for-5 during the first two games in San Diego. In the latter two games of the series, he went 4-for-7 with two doubles, a home run and three runs batted in to help Colorado leave with a series split.
Hosting the Phillies at Coors Field, Morneau went 2-for-7 with a double, homer and four ribbies to lift the Rockies to consecutive victories.
The 2006 American League MVP saved his best for last on this date in 2014 and looked back to his old ways even when he made an out.
After an RBI-single in his first at bat gave Colorado the 1-0 lead, Morneau nearly singled again on a run-scoring ground out to tie it at 3-3 in the third inning. A sacrifice fly in the fifth moved his squad ahead 5-3 with his third run batted in.
Having already done everything in his power to get the Rockies to finish off the sweep of Philadelphia, Morneau blasted a two-run home run that tied the game once again in his fourth plate appearance in the bottom of the seventh.
Though Colorado lost the Sunday afternoon after 10-9, Morneau was named the National League Player of the Week for April 14-20 on the heels of batting .375 with three home runs and 12 RBI.
The Saddest Day
In 2010, Rockies president Keli S. McGregor passed away unexpectedly at 48 due to a rare heart malady while on business in Salt Lake City, UT.
During the 2010 season, Colorado honored the Colorado State University alumnus and former Denver Broncos tight end by placing his initials beside Jackie Robinson’s #42 in the retired numbers section at Coors Field.
Projected to open in January of 2021, the new complex of residential and commercial space in the former West Lot has been named McGregor Square in honor of the organization’s last team president.
Shawn Chacon wass selected as the NL Co-Player of the Week for April 14-20 in 2003. In the 16 seasons since the Greeley native won the honors, only Huston Street (2009) and Ubaldo Jiménez (2010) would win the award as pitchers for Colorado.
The 25-year-old was the first pitcher to win the award for the franchise thanks to a 2-0 week fueled by consecutive starts of seven shutout innings.
Tim Harikkala made his Rockies debut on this day in 2004 and tossed a scoreless eighth inning, striking out one and not allowing a baserunner during a 7-1 victory over the Dodgers. Over the course of his next nine appearances, the 32-year-old rookie reliever proceeded to record an 11-inning hitless streak, still the most in franchise history.
On This Day In Baseball History
Following numerous beanballs from the season prior, the Brooklyn Dodgers become the first team to wear protective headgear in 1941. While players’ caps feature a special plastic lining that is barely noticeable, most throughout the game dislike the new innovation.