The weekend against the Giants didn’t quite go how Rockies fans would have wanted but off the field, it was everything anyone could have hoped for. In one of the biggest moments in franchise history, the Colorado Rockies forever retired Hall of Famer Larry Walker’s number 33.
Not only was it a celebration of arguably the best player to ever put on a Rockies uniform, but it was a celebration of the fact that the Rockies are finally represented in Cooperstown. It’s also just the second time ever that the Rockies retire a number. That all set up quite the celebratory event. Let’s recap the weekend with the best moments from it all and celebrate Walker’s legacy one more time.
The land of the three and the home of the other three
The number three has never before been as present in Denver as it was all weekend. Fans dusted off their old 33 jerseys, a massive 33 was cut into the outfield and painted in foul territory, 33’s were constantly shown on every LED display at Coors Field, it was everywhere you (or the camera) could have turned. As a big believer in his connection to the number three, we can be sure Larry Walker wouldn’t have had it any other way. Even the balls used in Saturday’s contest featured a special touch.
Game balls for Larry Walker day tomorrow pic.twitter.com/fq6bcdgoVO— Danielle Allentuck (@d_allentuck) September 24, 2021
These kinds of things are small details but they go to show the effort put into this celebration by the Rockies and how much Walker means to them. Especially now that he’s become the first player ever to be enshrined as a member of the Rockies. He represents the best of the Rockies on a historical scale of the sport and it seemed like the Rockies spared no effort in ensuring Walker understood that.
Hearing others talk about Walker
One of the best ways to get to know someone not only as a player but as a person is to listen to those that have been around them talk about them. It’s not just what they’ll say about them that will get you closer to understanding the person, it’s how they say it.
Over the weekend, plenty of former teammates, coaches, executives, etc. spoke fondly of Walker but they also spoke with much admiration and sincerity in describing Walker’s greatness through their eyes. Pedro Martinez and Eric Young Jr. have praised Walker for his incredible baseball instincts, Todd Helton has previously called him the best athlete he’s ever played with and original Rockies GM Bob Gebhard cited Walker’s willingness to work hard as the reason for his success.
That all paints a wonderful picture of Walker as an athlete and a person but to understand what he’s meant and continues to mean as a Rockies icon you have to go to the fans. One of my favorite parts of Larry Walker weekend was seeing the reactions from fans on Twitter and reading personal stories, connections and descriptions of what the Hall of Famer meant to them.
As a kid growing up in CO playing Right Field in little league, I wanted nothing more than to be like Larry Walker. I spent so many summer days and fall nights going nuts at Coors when "Crazy Train" hit and when "Larrrrr-ry Walk...er" was up.— Zeke Perez Jr. (@NerdsThatZeke) September 26, 2021
Thanks for all the memories 33! pic.twitter.com/szuk96N9o7
I don't cry as a result of sports, never have, but everything about Larry Walker tonight and sitting here in person to witness it was cause for a single tear to fall from my eye. A touching moment for myself and all #Rockies fans. pic.twitter.com/nRV56nWrBk— Skyler Timmins is: The Sideline Crowd (@SideLine_Crowd) September 26, 2021
Larry Walker story:— Eric Nathanson (@2outhits) September 26, 2021
Was in RF bleachers at Wrigley when Expos were there one time. We were relentlessly taunting him all game until Walker came out one inning, took out a wad of $100 bills and started counting them in front of us.
Shut us up real quick.
While that’s all heartfelt and dandy, the main event was to see the number 33 up in the rafters where it belongs right next to number 17. After a series of speeches and a tribute video, the moment everyone was waiting for finally arrived.
What a sight it still is to see that number 33 so prominently outlined by a gold ring signifying his position in Cooperstown. Walker’s 33 will now sit in right center field for generations to come. It’ll even outlast Coors Field once it runs its age. Wherever it stands in the decades to come, Walker’s legacy will now forever live on.
“We have a plaque at Cooperstown”
Finally, the most impactful moment of the entire weekend was when we heard directly from the Hall of Famer. While Walker has previously said that public speaking is “not my gig,” Walker spoke very eloquently and humbly as he recognized the significance of being the first to be enshrined at Cooperstown as a Rockies player. The most powerful moment came when he spoke directly to Rockies fans and explained to them how they should view his Hall of Fame plaque.
Couldn’t have been said any better Mr. Walker. Congratulations to him and to Rockies fans everywhere, you’re all finally at Cooperstown with Walker just as his 33 hangs now forever alongside you.
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Brendan Rodgers is on the verge of wrapping up an impressive 2021 season that has seen him make massive strides in his game. The 25-year-old second baseman is now slashing .284/.329/.470 with 15 home runs. He’s also third on the team in OPS behind C.J. Cron and Connor Joe. Rodgers now faces the possibility of succeeding Trevor Story next season at shortstop. It’s a position that has been dominated by some of the most exceptional Rockies of all time, just in the last 15 years. Is he the next?
Despite being swept by the Giants, the Rockies have been nearing the San Diego Padres for third place in the NL West since the All-Star break. The Padres have been an abysmal 25-38 in the second half of the season after beginning the year 53-40. Comparatively, the Rockies have been the opposite, finishing the second half stronger at 31-33 thus far while falling flat in the first half of the year at 40-51. It’s not as crazy of an argument as we thought it was back in April.
On the farm
Triple-A: Reno Aces 7, Albuquerque Isotopes 6
In New Mexico, the Isotopes blew a one run lead in the ninth to give the Aces their first win of the series yesterday. Justin Lawrence was given the loss (his fifth this year) and the blown save (his sixth this year) when he gave up a two run blast to the Aces’ Cooper Hummel. Greg Bird went 3-for-4 with a home run, a double and four total RBI’s. Ryan Vilade also had a three hit game while hitting leadoff in this one. In the end, the three errors committed by the Isotopes (Elehuris Montero had two in the first inning, allowing one run in) would come back to haunt them.
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