For any athlete to be drafted by his childhood team is nothing short of a dream come true.
To have been raised in the same city a mere month after the franchise was born adds another dimension to the dream.
So it came without any shock that it would all come to fruition for Denver’s Kyle Freeland to make his major league debut in his local ballpark and win against his team’s longstanding rivals.
After being taken in the first round of the 2014 MLB Draft out of the University of Evansville, Freeland moved quickly through the minors to make the 2017 Opening Day roster. With the ball placed in his cleats by new skipper Bud Black, Freeland started the fifth game of a season that would ultimately bring Colorado back to the playoffs for the first time in eight years.
While Freeland received little offensive support in one of the lowest scoring Home Openers in franchise history (also: 2003), the 49,169 Rockies fans provided plenty of back for the Thomas Jefferson High School grad.
The 23-year-old southpaw held the Los Angeles Dodgers to a single run in six innings to earn the first win of his career, such a rare feat that no player had achieved something quite like it in over 50 years.
Chuck Dobson of the Kansas City Athletics is the last player to make his debut in his hometown in the team’s Home Opener on April 19, 1966. Dobson, however, allowed two earns runs and 5.2 innings during the A’s 3-2 victory at Municipal Stadium.
On This Date
After the second lowest temperature for a game at Coors Field the evening before, Wade Davis blew his first save in purple before Tony Wolters’ walked-off Atlanta with a four-pitch bases loaded base on balls on this date in 2018.
As a nine-year pitching veteran, Jordan Lyles never needed to dedicate a lot of time to his swing. He’d record more than three hits in an entire season just three times, but in 2014 he notched three hits in one game against the Chicago White Sox. Since this day, no Rockies pitcher has recorded more than two hits in a game, including 2018 Silver Slugger Award winner German Márquez.
In 2008, fans attending the Atlanta-Colorado matchup did not need to worry about leaving early during the Monday night game as the 2-1 Rockies win was the second shortest nine-inning game in Coors Field history at only 2:05.
The second game in Rockies’ history featured two dubious distinctions back in 1993: third baseman Charlie Hayes made the franchise’s first error and Scott Aldred threw the first wild pitch.
While Lyle was registering three hits in Denver, 21-year-old Trevor Story was hitting for a cycle – and adding a stolen base – for the High-A Modesto Nuts of the California League in a game visiting the Visalia Rawhide.
On This Date In Baseball History
The earliest no-hitter in major league history was on April 7 of 1979 and was thrown by Ken Forsch of the Houston Astros in a 6-0 win against Atlanta. The performance also marked the first set of brothers to pitch no-nos as his brother Bob Forsch had tossed one the previous season.