GRAND JUNCTION – The state of Colorado doesn’t have the deepest roots in baseball lore. While New York and California have churned out talent for decades, the Centennial State is still much more prominently known for its 300 days of sunshine and affinity for football, the outdoors, and craft beer.
But there have been some standouts from the union’s 38th addition, with minor league franchises dotting its history, to MLB talents like Hall of Famer Goose Gossage and soon-to-be Roy Halladay. Yet, Chase Headley’s 130 home runs is the most for a Colorado-born big leaguer, a decidedly mediocre mark for a place whose altitude makes it synonymous with the longball.
That tide is turning, though, and has been ever since the Rockies gave Colorado an MLB identity. Of the state’s 93 natives to play in the league, 23 debuted after 2000. Today, ace-apparent homegrown talent Kyle Freeland is leading the charge of bringing Coloradans to the forefront of the big-league stage, and David Bote’s overnight sensationalism gives locals a nice anecdote to be proud of.