FanPost

Retiring Numbers - A Case for a Legend

The Colorado Rockies are celebrating 20 years and as part of this celebration, they plan to bring back former stars and have special tie-ins with certain games throughout the season. A nice gesture by a club that in my opinion should do more to reach back into its relatively modest history and highlight what has been some good times at the ballpark.

To further this I think the Rockies would do well if they celebrated and retired a number this year. While not planned, I would think highlighting one of the founding members would help cement this 20th Anniversary celebration. While most fans have their favorites I think the Rockies should celebrate their very first star and that is Andres Galarraga. Affectionately known as the "Big Cat", I believe his 5 year stint at first base deserves to be recognized. If it hadn't been for another first baseman in Todd Helton, who knows how long the Big Cat might have patrol first base. During those five years, he was the Rockies first All-Star and received votes every year as a potential MVP candidate. In his first year in Denver he led the league in batting average and maintained a .316 batting average over those five years. As a member of what became know as the Blake Street Bomber he managed to hit 172 homeruns (5th all time) with a monstrous 47 hit in 1996 with 150 runs batted in (which is still the single season record for the Rockies). A fan favorite who was the first of many great Venezuelans to play for the Rockies, I believe number 14 would make a great addition to the already retired 42.

Some highlights:

June 18, 1997 with John Wetteland on the mound and Rockies trailing 9-6, Galarrage hits a grand slam to win the game.

August 10, 1996 with Mark Wohlers on the mound with the Rockies tied 7-7 in the top of the 10th, Galarraga homers to deep left field.

And of course the most memorable which occurred on May 31, 1997 at Pro Player Stadium off Florida's Kevin Brown which was estimated at 579 feet but actually fell short of that.

Eat. Drink. Be Merry. But the above FanPost does not necessarily reflect the attitudes, opinions, or views of Purple Row's staff (unless, of course, it's written by the staff [and even then, it still might not]).

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