It has been a little over 19 years since the Rockies first took the field, and while they're certainly still babies when compared to baseball's most tenured franchises, they have also been in existence long enough to where history is starting to become relevant. So, why then, does the club not embrace it? Look around Coors Field, and all you'll see is the 2007 National League Championship banner. One could argue that, because of the Rockies' odd placement of it, that it is somewhat of a curse; it is snugly situated in the gap between the video board and the Rockies logo/clock at the top of the scoreboard, leaving no room for additional banners should the club earn them.
It would seem to me, then, that this presents an opportunity for this version of the Colorado Rockies in two ways; one, because 2012 is the "Year of the Fan," and two, because the club is trying so hard to instill a winning culture. The way the ballpark is laid out, combined with a bevy of advertisements spanning the outfield area, causes a bit of a challenge in trying to identify places to hang banners, etc. However, here are some ideas:
- Move the NL Champs banner away from its current location (and turn it into an actual hanging banner, rather than what it is now). There's no room to hang anything else there, creating a feeling that the club thinks it has reached its highest possible achievement.
- Alongside the NL Champs banner, hang the '95 and '09 wildcard banners. Look, I get the argument that displaying wildcard banners may make the Rockies appear to be a bit bush league, but the simple fact is that baseball is unlike any other sport - playoff berths are a rarity, and for a club that can claim three of them in its relatively short existence, it is somewhat of a decent accomplishment.
- Last, but certainly not least, honor the Blake Street Bombers. They remain a HUGE reason why the franchise has been as successful as it has in terms of attendance. I'm not saying retire any of their numbers (at least, not until Todd Helton gets his due first), but find a way to pay homage to them - whether it's hanging a large banner with their photos on it, placing a collage of sorts on the outfield wall similar to what the Dodgers had a few years back (seen here and here), or even a huge, blown-up version of this shirt (okay, maybe not that last one).
Each time I post a Rockies Retro piece this season, the Twitter link will contain the hashtag #honorthebombers. I will be tweeting it at the official Rockies Twitter account, as well as trying to get guys such as Troy Renck and Thomas Harding in the loop. It may catch somebody's attention, or it may just go by the wayside - who knows. However, I think it's worth a shot. It's about time the organization starts trying to embrace what small amount of tradition it has built up. Those of you who are active on Twitter, what do you say? Wanna help us give it a shot?
In the meantime, I'll post a link to the Dante Bichette article that I wrote a couple years ago, and that will get the ball rolling on the upcoming Blake Street Bombers pieces I'll be posting. Expect to see profiles of Larry Walker, Vinny Castilla, Andres Galarraga, and maybe even Ellis Burks along the way.