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Top Colorado Rockies All-Star Performances: #6 - Coors Field Hosts Midsummer Classic

Once upon a time, before the Florida Marlins won two World Series, before the Arizona Diamondbacks squeaked out a title, before the Tampa Bay (Devil) Rays became legitimate contenders, the Colorado Rockies were the darling expansion franchise.

In 1995, Colorado became the quickest MLB expansion organization to reach the playoffs, in the first year of Coors Field.  The Rockies increased their franchise high win total to 83 in 1996, then matched that total in 1997.  

Coors Field was to host the 1998 All-Star Game, and it figured to be another peg in the rise of a promising franchise.  Instead, the Rockies lost five in a row to limp into the break, posting a 37-52 first half record.  At 20.5 games out of first and in fourth place, the All-Star Game ended up being a reprieve from baseball as usual for Rockies fans.

I remember asking my dad to get us tickets to the All-Star festivities, but I think the Rockies falling to 6.5 games out on April 12 soured my pleas.  I did not end up attending what remains MLB's highest scoring game, with 21 runs and 31 hits between the two clubs. 

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
- - - - - - - - - - - -
AL All-Stars 0 0 0 4 1 3 1 1 3 13 19 2
NL All-Stars 0 0 2 1 3 0 0 2 0 8 12 1

Larry Walker was selected as a starter by the fans, which should be no surprise, as he won Colorado's only NL MVP award the preceding season and had a .331/.414/.571 first half line. Vinny Castilla and Dante Bichette were the reserves, and recently departed Andres Galarraga represented the Atlanta Braves.

As tends to be a running theme in All-Star Games, the Rockies sluggers did little notable.  Walker walked against Roger Clemens and scored the first run of the game after singles by Walt Weiss and Tony Gwynn.  He popped out later against Brad Radke.

Dante Bichette was a defensive replacement for Barry Bonds in the seventh inning.  He grounded out against John Wetteland and struck out against Troy Percival.  

Vinny Castilla replaced Chipper Jones in the sixth inning, popping up to the catcher and lining out to center field against the same two pitchers Bichette faced.  

When including Galarraga, the Blake Street Bombers somehow accounted for 7 of the 27 outs for the National League, while accumulating zero of the 12 hits for the Senior Circuit.  But while their individual performances were not memorable, their very representation of the new hot Denver sports franchise in an All-Star Game in Denver most certainly was.