Who doesn’t love a Top 10 list? Well, we do! So welcome to Top 10 Tuesday, where every week we will dive into a different Rockies-related topic. These lists will not be scientific. They are 100-percent opinion (a “Mountain Viewpoint” so to speak) and — more importantly — they are 100-percent debatable. We encourage the banter in the comments (keep it respectful), and feel free to offer up some future topic ideas!
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Over the Colorado Rockies’ 28 seasons of existence, there have been plenty of ups-and-downs. And while the downs have been piling up lately, it’s still fun to celebrate all the ups. So let’s take a look at the top 10 moments in Rockies history.
No. 10: Arenado signs huge extension
It might not feel like it now, but when Nolan Arenado signed his historic eight-year, $260 million contract in February of 2019, the shockwave went well beyond the borders of Denver. After all the swirling trade rumors, Colorado had finally locked up its franchise cornerstone through his prime.
No. 9: 1995 playoffs
It was an unlikely scenario. A team in just its third year of existence had never made the postseason. Sure, the wild card had just been introduced, but the Rockies’ achievement in 1995 not only made Colorado history, but MLB history, as well.
No. 8: Tulo’s unassisted triple play
There’s obviously a certain amount of luck involved to turn an unassisted triple play, but Troy Tulowitzki’s feat in 2007 made national headlines because it’s one of the rarest plays in all of baseball. This one — against the Braves, with Chipper Jones at the plate — was just the 13th of its kind in baseball’s long, storied history.
No. 7: Ubaldo’s no-hitter
Believe it or not, the Rockies have plenty of pitching performances that could have made this list, but none top this one. Ubaldo Jiménez’s no-hitter against the Atlanta Braves in April of 2010 was the franchise’s first — and still its only — no-hitter. The San Diego Padres remain the only team to have never thrown a no-no.
No. 6: Arenado’s walk-off homer for cycle
Hitting for the cycle isn’t necessarily a rare occurrence — particularly at Coors Field, which is tied with Fenway Park at 17 for hosting the most in baseball history. But when Nolan Arenado hit a walk-off home run to complete the cycle and to beat the Giants in 2017, it instantly entered Colorado Rockies lore.
No 5: Walker makes HOF
Could this be the moment that exorcises the demons of the Coors Field bias? Probably not, but Larry Walker’s selection into the Baseball Hall of Fame is a step in the right direction. And the fact that he’ll be only inductee wearing a Rockies cap makes Walker’s induction a top moment (whenever it happens, anyway).
No. 4: Bichette’s Coors opener walk-off
When it happened in April of 1995, we immediately knew it was an iconic moment in Rockies history. Dante Bichette’s dramatic 14th-inning, walk-off blast against the Mets in the first regular season game at Coors Field certainly foreshadowed the wild games the ballpark would witness over the years.
No. 3: EY’s home run
Baseball-starved fans in Denver would have gladly taken 0-162 in 1993 from their newly acquired expansion team. But Rockies OF Eric Young popped the top off the old Mile High Stadium when he homered in the franchise’s first home at-bat on April 9, 1993, and it showed Rockies fans the kind of excitement they’d come to expect over the next three decades.
No. 2: Holiday’s slide
In a vacuum, 2007’s game No. 163 stands alone as a top moment in Rockies history, capped by Matt Holiday’s dramatic slide against the Padres to clinch a postseason berth. But the 13 wins in 14 games leading up to this moment and a trip to the Fall Classic after it make this play stand out even more as a top moment in Rockies history.
No. 1: Clinch World Series berth
If the Rockies ever decide to erect a statue at Coors Field, can you think anything more appropriate than Todd Helton stretching his arms high, clutching the last out in the 2007 NLCS, as he screams into the crisp October air? The moment Colorado clinched its first and only World Series berth in 2007 will not be easily topped in the future. Perhaps only a Rockies championship can do it?
Cargo’s walk-off homer for cycle; Extra-inning wild card win over Cubs; 1998 All-Star Game; Freeland flirts with no-hitter; Catcher Brett Mayne picks up win on mound
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What did I miss? Where did I get it wrong? Sound off in the comments!