Nolan’s on a vacation far away and it is time to determine who should be the next Rockies player to have his number retired after Larry Walker’s 33 is retired on September 25th. Nolan Arenado was on pace to be the next purple-pinstriper to have his retired before being traded before this season. He was the face of the franchise, an all-time great third baseman who racked up Gold Gloves every year of his career, and a slugger who had many big moments at the plate. But he is gone now and the Rockies have plenty of players remaining who could be candidates to one day have their number retired and displayed at Coors Field forever.
Come around and talk it over, so many things that I want to say. Let’s lay out the requirements to have your number retired scientifically decided by yours truly. To have your number retired by a franchise a player should be recognized as a face of the franchise, have a connection with the fanbase, produce on the field, and spend their entire career with the franchise (or be a hall-of-famer that spent the majority and prime of their career with the franchise).
You know I like my legends a little bit older. Trevor Story and Germán Márquez have displayed greatness in their young Rockies careers and if their careers were to continue on their current trajectory in Colorado for years to come, they could potentially be considered to have their numbers retired. However, they are both still young and there is a lot of uncertainty in that previous statement, making it difficult to state at this time that either should have their numbers retired by the Rockies.
I just want to use your love ... tonight! There is only one answer to the question of who should be the next Rockies player to have their number retired. Charlie Blackmon came onto the scene in 2011, appearing in 27 games as an injury replacement in the outfield. At that time, he was a clean-shaven AAAA player that had shown promise but was not projected to become the four-time all-star that he would become.
“Chuck Nazty” was born shortly into Blackmon’s major league career and his signature beard and mullet made him a fan favorite. Of course, all the antics and theatrics can only go so far if you don’t produce on the field. He was the full-time starting centerfielder from day one in 2014 and took full advantage of the opportunity. He started 154 games, was an all-star, and had a bWAR of 2.0 despite a defensive bWAR of -0.4 in his first full season as a starter and never looked back.
Fan engagement with Blackmon was cemented with his walk-up song. Fans of all ages and backgrounds unite to sing the audience participation portion of “tonight” as Charlie walks to the plate to “Your Love” by The Outfield. He built a persona for himself that could be addressed by Rockies fans young and old.
It's a CHARLIE BLACKMON #RockOff‼️ pic.twitter.com/OE38qNxzzu— Colorado Rockies (@Rockies) May 5, 2021
He continued to back up his persona with performance on the field from 2015-2019, receiving MVP votes in 2016 and 2017, producing a five-year offensive bWAR of 21.7, and being named to three straight all-star teams from 2017-2019. Even while playing alongside Nolan Arenado, Blackmon was often considered the face of the franchise due to his larger than life personality and his performance on the field.
In 2018 Blackmon signed a six-year contract that should keep him in Colorado through the 2023 season. He has lost some speed and has shown some signs of a slowing bat, but has continued to produce at the plate. The likely introduction of a designated hitter to the National League will benefit Blackmon as he would be given the opportunity to focus only on his hitting and avoid losing his legs from covering the vast Coors Field outfield. He continues to contribute offensively with an offensive bWAR of 0.7 so far in 2021 despite getting off to a slow start over the first six weeks.
Since struggling as a pitcher talking himself into an outfield role in the Texas Collegiate League prior to his junior season at Georgia Tech, Charlie Blackmon has dedicated himself to the art of hitting. He has utilized technology, analytics, study, and hours upon hours of practice time to turn himself into an elite hitter. He has found ways to improve over the course of his career and will continue to grind to find ways to extend his elite hitting ability into the twilight of his career.
Blackmon continues to move up the all-time Rockies ranks. He is second in hits, triples, and stolen bases, third in games played, at-bats, and runs scored. He will move up another spot in games played and at-bats by the end of this season. By the time his career is over, Blackmon will rank second, behind only Todd Helton, in most relevant offensive categories and cement his legacy as an all-time member of the organization.
Number 19 should be the next number retired by the Colorado Rockies after Blackmon decides to call it a career.
★ ★ ★
The Rockies have their worst Coors Field hangover yet | fivethirtyeight.com
A lot has been made about the Rockies home and away disparities. Articles have been written, Twitter accounts have been dedicated to tracking the potentially historic road record pace, and some writers (maybe just me) have dubbed this team the greatest home team of all time. It has gotten so extreme that national writers have taken notice with this breakdown of just how bad it has gotten.
Nuñez’s hard work, ‘passion’ spark big day | Rockies.com
Dom Nuñez’s progress has been a welcome development this season. He has done a good job handling arguably the best Rockies pitching staff of all time and had delivered at the plate. His three hit night helped to lead the charge as the Rockies avoided a sweep in Arizona on Thursday. Nuñez and Elías Díaz have provided power at the plate and have bolstered the bottom of the Colorado lineup while also doing a great job defensively and handling the Rockies pitching staff.
The Athletic’s 2021 All-Star Game food and beer guide | The Athletic ($)
This is a fun guide to visitors to our fine city and state detailing where to find good food and beer at and around Coors Field. There is always sure to be a healthy debate regarding the best and worst places to get a bite to eat and/or a drink, but there cannot really be an argument that Coors Field and its surroundings have plenty of great offerings. There is something for everyone and it is hard to make a bad choice when sampling any of the outstanding establishments in the LoDo area.
★ ★ ★
On the farm
Triple-A: Albuquerque Isotopes 2, Round Rock Express 1
A two-run ninth inning secured the win for the Isotopes. Connor Joe was able to score the tying run after singling and advancing to second with some savvy baserunning on a flyball by Greg Bird. Nick Longhi came around for the eventual winning run after walking and advancing from first to third on a Brian Serven single that also scored Connor Joe from second. A groundout by Alan Trejo was able to deliver the second run for the Isotopes and Zac Rosscup handled the ninth without incident to secure the victory.
Double-A: Hartford Yard Goats vs Portland Sea Dogs: Postponed (rain)
High-A: Spokane Indians 6, Vancouver Canadians 4
The Indians benefited from some sloppy play by the Canadians and good team baseball. Two bunts, a hit-by-pitch, and a single generated three runs for the Indians in the seventh inning, which would prove to be the difference in the game. After the inning was over, Spokane led 6-3 and though the Canadians managed a run in the ninth, the Indians were able to hold on for the victory. Mitchell Kilkenny got the win for the Indians with a solid seven innings pitched allowing three runs, two earned, on six hits.
Low-A: Fresno Grizzlies 6, San Jose Giants 5
The Grizzlies completed a comeback by scoring three runs in the top of the ninth to secure the 6-5 win. A walk by Grant Lavigne and a single by Daniel Montano set the stage for Colin Simpson. Simpson game to the plate with his team down one, one on, and two out in the top of the ninth and hit a home run to right center field to give the Grizzlies a 6-5 lead. Blake Goldsberry pitched a scoreless ninth and earned the victory.
★ ★ ★
Please keep in mind our Purple Row Community Guidelines when you’re commenting. Thanks!