Do you remember waking up on this day 15 years ago?
Sure, recalling last night’s dinner can be enough of a challenge for most, but 2007 is something different.
There. Now it’s starting to come back to you.
On the morning of October 16, 2007, you woke up and realized your baseball team, the Colorado Rockies, were heading to their first World Series.
What a wonderful place and time.
Fresh off a four-game sweep over the rival Arizona Diamondbacks in the National League Championship Series, reality had barely set in the morning after.
Everywhere anyone turned during the next week were highlights of the rookie superstar Troy Tulowitzki firing a throw over to living legend Todd Helton at first base with arms outstretched signaling the deed had been done.
The Fall Classic would include the Rockies.
What made the road to Rocktober all the more magical was the way in which Colorado forced their way into the postseason.
Coming off a brutal 10-2 loss to the Florida Marlins – who had the worst record in the NL entering the series that weekend at Coors Field – with their young ace Ubaldo Jiménez on the hill with a 2.35 ERA over his previous six starts, the Rockies fell to only four games over .500 on September 15.
Colorado would need a historically impressive run of wins to even think about earning the one and only Wild Card in the Senior Circuit.
They held the seventh-best record in the league and would need to leap over three teams, including two in their own division, to have an opportunity for even one October series.
Historically was precisely how they played over the next two weeks.
The Rockies dominated the Marlins 13-0 to wrap the series on September 16 and give them some momentum heading into a four-game set over three days at home against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
A little more than 23,000 were on hand to watch Colorado win both ends of the doubleheader. The second game famously punctuated by an improbable two-out, two-run home run by Todd Helton off Takashi Saito to walk it off.
Saito’s 1.21 ERA and 39 saves entering the contest made him virtually a lock to preserve the 8-7 Dodgers lead in the ninth. He had also pitched 3.2 scoreless innings against the Rockies that season, striking out seven and allowing zero hits.
An unlikely result? Yes.
And yet it happened. And even more happened after that.
Colorado polished off the sweep of Los Angeles, something that hadn’t happened to the Dodgers in a series all season long.
Then a three-game sweep of the San Diego Padres at Petco Park. With the second-best record in the NL at the time and winners of seven consecutive at home, not to mention a staggering 13-2 run entering the series, no one expected the Rockies to run their win streak to eight games.
And yet it happened.
Next was a trip up Interstate 5 that saw the boys in purple break out the brooms once again, this time at Dodger Stadium.
All the while, San Diego had a magic number of 11. They managed to win nine while Colorado lost just once.
The Friars needed just one win in their final two games to quiet the din in Denver.
But that didn’t happen.
The noise only got louder at Coors Field with 48,404 in attendance as the two teams faced off for a tie-breaking Game 163, the likes of which hadn’t been seen in nearly a decade.
Once again, you know the results and, maybe even more importantly, the details behind the comeback victory in the 13th inning against Hall of Fame closer Trevor Hoffman.
Shallow fly ball by Jamey Carroll to right field, Matt Holliday tagging from third base, Brian Giles’ incoming throw and a play at the plate that left only one man standing… or lying down, in this case.
If that wasn’t enough, the first postseason for the franchise in 12 years went down precisely as every child in the Rocky Mountain Region wished it would.
It was a three-game sweep of a talented Philadelphia Phillies team that would go on to win the World Series the next season and nearly repeat the feat the following year.
Next came the NL West champs, Arizona, fresh off a sweep of their own against the Chicago Cubs.
Arizona had the third-best winning percentage at home in 2007, but never got a chance to flex their home-field advantage as Colorado ripped through the NLCS with four-straight wins, holding the D-Backs to just eight runs.
One can’t understate the improbability of that postseason run by the Colorado Rockies. An incredible 20 wins in 21 games.
The Seattle Mariners, who were celebrating the 30th Anniversary of their franchise’s birth back in 2007, are still waiting for the moment that captivated everyone in black and purple across the nation and beyond.
Supporters of the M’s have never been fortunate enough to open their eyes one morning and think, “My team has reached the World Series.”
Rockies fans, you did exactly that on this date 15 years ago. Allow yourself to smile about that some time today.