I have, once or twice, accused the Colorado Rockies of having an inferiority complex. A manifestation of which, in this writer's opinion, has been a failure to adequetly celebrate the history not just of the Rockies themselves but of baseball in Denver.
To feign a rich and long-lasting history would honor no one, but to pretend there is nothing in Denver's history with this great game worthy of tribute would be to dishonor both the city and the game.
Speaking of feigning and pretending, I should not purport myself some scholar Colorado Baseball folklore. For that, I highly reccomend checking out Matthew Repplinger's book, Baseball in Denver.
But therein lies the beauty of my ignorant suggestion; the Rockies should be doing a better job on a day-to-day basis informing the general public of the surprisingly expansive history of our amazing city and this perfect game. But as someone who speaks with no authority on such times, I would still like to get the ball rolling on a few pragmatic things i think the organization can and should be doing to better celebrate their history.
5. Old-timers musical tribute
Silly. Simple. Costs you nothing. Gives people those nostalgic tingly thingies. Those are the ingredients for a good tribute to your past.
This could work in a lot of different ways. Maybe the Rockies pick a month and every home game each hitter is given a walk-up song from an old Rockie great in lieu of their own. Or maybe every player just picks a particular homestand before the season. "And this week Troy Tulowitzki will be walking out to Sledgehammer by Peter Gabriel in tribute to Dante Bichette!"
"That's right, and next homestand it'll be Justin Morneau with a nod to the old #33 and walking out to Crazy Train!"
4. No humidor special events
Hat tip to Purple Row's friend and yours Andrew Martin for planting this idea in my head. While he might take it farther than this, I would suggest the Rockies find some way to celebrate the absurd home run totals of the nineties. It would just be too much fun.
Maybe you play some spring training games at Coors Field using balls that were stored outside over night. Or you could do a home series where you promote batting practice with non-humidor balls. C'mon ... who wouldn't want to see that?
It's time for the Rockies to stop being embarrased about this period in their history and start emracing it with a wide smile and the loud smacking of bats.
3. Wearing real throwback jerseys
We ain't talkin' no '93 grays. We ain't talkin' "blackouts" (how are those throwbacks anyway?) but real old-timey throwback Denver baseball uniforms.
Hell, the Tampa Bay Rays just made some stuff up. The Rockies don't even have to do that. How about sporting some Denver Bears jerseys? Or Denver Denvers? That would be hilarious and still awesome. There is no way it would be more embarrasing than the baseball on the field right now.
The Denver Nuggets even managed to pull this off by sporting some pretty slick "Dnver Rockets" jerseys. So yes, it can still work if the team didn't have the same name and even played in a different league. Cool old baseball jerseys are cool ... and old. DO THIS.
2. Releasing the 21 Days documentary and/or financing Ryan Spilgorghs
I was lucky enough to run into Ryan Spilborghs at a charity event for the Carlos Gonzalez foundation at Lucky Strike in Denver. He was kind and humble -- even asking for an honest review of his work -- and seemed as engaged by this topic as I was.
I had remembered watching "21 Days: The Rockies Run to the Pennant" over and over again when it first aired. I couldn't figure out why this documentary hadn't been made available to the public until I did some research for this piece and realized it was done by FSN and not ROOT.
I am not a businessman. In fact, what is the opposite of a business man? A chimpanzee in a rubber raincoat with a typewriter? Yeah, I'm closer to that than I am to being a business man. But here is the thing: we have money, you want our money, and we want that damn movie on DVD already! It sure beats watching actual games right now.
You will make back whatever it costs to buy the rights, Mr. and Mr. Monfort. Please give us 2007 again. We were all so happy then. Remember?
If it really is a super grudge thing and "to hell with that doc!" then produce a better one. I have confirmation from a source I trust on this that he still has a ton of footage that he shot himself that season. The other thing is, there were so many great stories that the FSN one even missed. Go big or go home.
Everything from Jason Hirsh's leg, to sweeping the Yankees at Coors, to Kaz Matsui's grand slam, to Willy Tavares' walk-and-point-to-the-dugout ... and it can even have a poignant ending.
The "21 Days" doc, mostly skipped through the playoffs and focused on the incredible run to get there. But why not end this one with Aaron Cook coming all the way back and pitching one of only four World Series games in Colorado history. No, we didn't win. But he did.
That team is worth remembering completely.
1. Retiring numbers.
As you are likely aware, the Rockies will be retiring No. 17 next week. The greatest Rockie in history will be the first to have his number retired when Todd Helton returns to Coors Field on August 17th. As it should be.
But once the deed is done, the floodgates need to open a bit.
Justin Morneau has paid a fitting tribute, but No. 33 must go up on the wall. And No. 9. And No. 10.
I could be talked into more, but Larry Walker, Vinny Castilla, and Dante Bichette deserve to forever be enshrined at Coors Field.
I'm sure there are tons of other suggestions out there. Please share them in the comments.