Every opening day I ask myself, "self, why don't you own an up-to-date Colorado Rockies jersey?" I haven't worn the jersey of a current Colorado Rockies player since 2008. That player was Matt Holliday.
I was given his jersey as a Christmas present following the miracle season of 2007, and I couldn't have been more excited. He was the new face of the franchise; the should-have-been Most Valuable Player of the National League. He wore a Rockies uniform for exactly one more season. That trade was crushing for me as a 13 year old, and it has affected my jersey-buying decisions ever since. Sure, I could have bought a Troy Tulowitzki jersey after the 2008 season and worn it proudly for 7 years before he got traded, but I was so afraid of having a repeat occurrence that I never did.
Jersey remorse isn't a problem unique to the Rockies either. There are probably thousands of Broncos fans who rushed out and bought #15 Tim Tebow jerseys in 2011 and bought #17 Brock Osweiler jerseys in 2015; only to see both of them leave before the start of the following season. I'll pause while the mean-spirited amongst you laugh at their expense.
You're probably going to see a lot of #2 Tulowitzki (and a handful of "Tulowizki") jerseys at Coors Field this summer. Yeah, there will plenty of people wearing #5, #28 and even #17, but the #2 jersey was unquestionably the best-selling of the last five years. Buying a jersey is an investment, and someone who bought a Tulo jersey after the 2014 season probably isn't going to hang it up after less than one season of wearing it. To tell you the truth, I continued wearing my Holliday jersey to the park all the way through last season. In 2010 I even briefly duct taped "GONZALEZ" over his name, but even 15-year-old me knew it looked tacky.
To say that the time has come for me to buy a new Rockies jersey would be an understatement. That time was a few years ago. About half of the buttons have fallen off, the "CR" logo is fraying, and the letters on the back are starting to peel. I made a decision this past offseason that I'm not going to trot it out at Rockies games anymore. Pickup softball games? Maybe. But it's not suitable for polite company in this condition. The question, then, is which jersey should I buy?
I had the same discussion with myself last April, and I decided that, if I was going to buy a Rockies jersey at all, it would be Corey Dickerson's. One year later he's currently playing very well in Tampa. This scenario is exactly what I was afraid of and the reason why I decided in the end to hold off on buying a jersey last year.
But push has come to shove. I can't show up to Coors Field in a generic T-shirt for the rest of my life. I have to make a decision.
There are many candidates; each with pros and cons.
The new superstar face of the franchise is probably the most obvious choice here, but I'm very wary of Nolan jumping ship at the first sign of free agency. If he signs a long-term contract at some point in the next few seasons I'll probably have to drop some money on a #28 jersey.
CarGo has been one of my favorite Rockies players since he came, and I'm far more attached to him than I ever was to Tulo. However, the best time to buy a Carlos Gonzalez jersey was 2010 and I was too busy being a smartass and trying to convert my Holliday jersey into a CarGo one.
I was actually surprised he wasn't dealt during the offseason, and I wouldn't want to bet any money that he'll be here next opening day. Of course, he could be here until 2025 and I could just look stupid for never pulling the trigger.
DJ LeMahieu/Charlie Blackmon
Both of these guys have been here a while and I would be happy to rep either one of them (especially DJ), but their futures are equally uncertain and their star power isn't great enough to justify wearing the jersey even after their departure.
It's usually never advisable to buy the jersey of a Rockies pitcher. Aaron Cook? Yeah, you could have gotten some good years out of that. But the best selling pitcher jersey in this franchise's history (#38) became obsolete less than a year after most people bought theirs. If Jon is really able to make it at the big league level I might consider it, but he's got a long way to go to get to that point.
It would be very much like me to wear a throwback Rockies jersey (even though their jersey style is the same now as it was in 1993). I could definitely picture myself rocking a Galarraga, Bichette, Castilla or a Walker. Todd Helton is just a little too obvious, and I already wore his shirsey to death when I was 7. The problem is that the Rockies don't sell throwback jerseys in their online store, which means I can't find them on Chinese bootleg websites the same way I did my Alex English or Joe Sakic jerseys. If I want a throwback I'll have to do it through the custom jersey process, and I'm not sure it's worth putting in that much effort just to avoid wearing the name of a current player.
There doesn't seem to be an obvious choice here. Buying a shirsey is a lower risk option, but I really want to go all out support the Rockies in an official looking jersey this summer. The problem is that I also want to be able to wear it for a long time.
Maybe I'll check to see if they're selling any Trevor Story jerseys yet when I go to the ballpark on Saturday.
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Which jersey do you think I should get? What jersey would you buy if you were in the market for one right now? Let me know in the comments.