The Colorado Rockies will open their 2018 home schedule on Friday afternoon against the Atlanta Braves. Probably. The weather forecast does not look great, with up to one inch of snow in the forecast to go along with a high temperature of 39 degrees.
It looks like it will be a very cold game, but where would it rank among the coldest games we’ve ever seen at Coors Field? Put on your MLB-licensed Elmer Fudd hat, duck your head, and use small shuffling steps on the ice as we take a walk down memory lane. Weather information comes courtesy of the Baseball Reference Play Index.
October 11, 2009 - NLDS against the Philadelphia Phillies - 35 degrees
It was cold and windy and there had just been a large snowstorm. I can speak from experience when I say it felt colder than this, with an extra brisk and cruel wind snapping through the park when Troy Tulowitzki got under that harmless foul pop-up to end the game with two runners on in the bottom of the ninth inning.
April 18, 2013 - Rockies vs Mets - 28 degrees
So starts the run of cold spring baseball games on this list. Hopefully the Rockies will be adding more cold games in October and November in the seasons to come. Anyway, this game saw three home runs from the Rockies in an 11-3 win. Dexter Fowler hit his seventh (!) home run, Tulowitzki hit his fourth, and Josh Rutledge hit his second home run of the young season.
Also the winning pitcher was Jon Garland, so at this point I will ask you if you remembered that Jon Garland pitched for the Rockies and then call you a liar if you say yes.
April 12, 1997 - Rockies vs Expos - 28 degrees
Let me take my best shot at a good old-fashioned lede for this game story from 21 years ago. Ah hem: The weather was cold on Saturday, but the offense was hot at Coors Field as the Rockies outlasted the Montreal Expos 12-8.
These were the days of the Blake Street Bombers, with Ellis Burks, Larry Walker, Dante Bichette, Andres Galarraga and Vinny Castilla all in the starting lineup. Walker and Castilla both hit home runs. As for the pitching, Jamey Wright delivered a classic thick-skin Coors Field outing - he allowed six runs on 11 hits and still went seven innings.
The attendance for this game was 50,010 people. Rockies fans toughed it out that day, so they can do it again for the 2018 home opener!
April 23, 2013 - Rockies vs Braves (doubleheader) - 23 degrees
The temperature actually “warmed up” to 30 degrees for the second game of this doubleheader. The Braves swept this one despite the fact that Freddie Freeman surprisingly did not go like 8-for-8 with 20 runs driven in for the day. Hopefully the Rockies don’t have to play another April doubleheader against the Braves, but if they do, hopefully they can reverse the outcomes from the last time.
Here’s the good news as we look at this weekend’s series: this is Colorado we are talking about, and temperatures jump back up into the 50’s on Saturday. In the meantime, bundle up for the opener!